COVID-19 has shown the fragilities of our food systems, challenging business to adapt and showing the importance of local communities. How can we build and maintain a resilient food system?
This webinar, held on 29 June 2020, was hosted by Dr Jag Srai, Co-Chair of the Cambridge Global Food Security IRC. Speakers included: Dr Nazia Mintz Habib, Director of the Resilience and Sustainable Development Programme; Gemma Birley, Director of the Cambridge Sustainability Food; and Silvia Lazzaris, journalist for EIT Food FoodUnfolded. In summary, the panel discussed what makes a food system resilient, and which players need to be considered and included to ensure the system’s resilience. Consumers should be aware of their food’s origins and impact on the environment so that they can make more informed decisions. The panel also discussed the importance of having a holistic picture of food systems, and understanding that what happens in other parts of the world impacts the UK. For instance, the local flour shortage was caused by export restrictions that some countries in Central Asia imposed as part of their COVID-19 mitigation strategies. In addition, a more transparent system that informs consumers about the contents of their food, how it is produced, and its carbon footprint would assist in making the system more resilient and sustainable.