CFS 45 Side Event

Scaling Up Evidence-Based Sustainable Agricultural Practices: Lessons from 3 European Countries

Thursday, October 18, 8:30 to 10:00
Red Room, FAO


Promoting the use of traditional and sustainable techniques to increase biodiversity in agriculture, agroecology is crucial in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. This side-event will showcase academic research, insights in consumer expectations and experiences from 3 European farmers from the Czech Republic, France and Poland in scaling up sustainable agricultural practices. These experts work closely with Danone’s “Socrates program.” Launched in 2014, “Socrates” promotes sustainable agriculture throughout the agri- food supply chain by linking research, food production, food safety and nutritional outcomes with an emphasis on collaborative multi-stakeholder approach.

There are challenges to producing vegetables for baby food, as the quality and safety standards are strict and get stricter every year. However, it is possible to achieve these standards when farmers work together with other members of the food value chain. If a food processor wants to improve the grade of a food product, they carry part of the responsibility to ensure that the farmers they work with are able to adapt to the new standards within a reasonable timeframe, without disproportionately compromising that farmer’s ability to make a profit on their product. 

Importantly, farming must not seem old-fashioned to young people: with new developments and innovations (ranging from low-tech to high-tech), farming can and should be seen as a dynamic and intellectually stimulating career. 

Key Speakers

  • H.E Mario Arvelo (Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the UN Rome-Based Agencies and CFS Chair)
  • Martin Bloem (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Kamil Holy (Crop Research Institute)
  • Henri Landes (Good Planet Foundation)
  • Klaudiusz Matejka (Gospodarstwo Roine)
  • Mar Jan Senk (Sady Bile Podoli)
  • Antoine Proffit (La Madrague)
  • Agnès Baudet (Danone Early Life Nutrition)

Key Outcomes

  • We must produce safe products for babies, and producing that food is an exciting business opportunity for farmers. There is high demand for complementary foods that adhere to high levels of quality, and innovative farmers can significantly increase their profits by implementing baby-grade practices. 
  • It is no longer the case that farmers must feel that their work is in conflict with the SDGs. Rather, farmers can – and must – work within the SDGs, and deserve to be celebrated for their contributions to ending world hunger. 
  • Food quality and food safety is essential. Ensuring that food is safe to eat requires many partnerships and consistency along the food value chain. Technical expertise is required, as well as professionalism in areas such as marketing, research, retail, and business. 
  • Farmers are among the first people to be affected by climate change. Adaptive techniques and climate-smart policies must be in place to enable farmers to continue producing food even in a changing world. 


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