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UN Food Systems Summit

The United Nations Secretary-General convened a Food Systems Summit on September 23, 2021 to launch bold new actions as part of the UN’s Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The stated goal of the Food Systems Summit was to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about foods within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to meet the challenges of poverty, food security, malnutrition, population growth, climate change, and natural resource degradation. See the UN Food Systems Summit website for more information on the Summit.

At the Summit, the United States announced its commitment to $10 billion in multi-year initiatives to strengthen food security and nutrition for all, accelerate climate change mitigation and adaptation, and expand inclusive food systems at home and abroad, especially for the most vulnerable. USDA highlighted $5 billion in planned domestic investments, half of the $10 billion announced, and several steps it has taken to advance the goals of ending hunger and malnutrition and building more sustainable, resilient and inclusive food systems.

The U.S. approach to the Summit reflected its commitment to science-based, data-driven decision-making and innovative solutions, and the recognition that trade and well-functioning markets at the local, regional and international levels bolster food security and sustainable food systems(additional background on U.S. approach to the Food Systems Summit (PDF, 174 KB)

USDA Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh headed the United States delegation at the Pre-Summit Ministerial of the Food Systems Summit, held in Rome, Italy from July 26-28, 2021. Deputy Secretary Bronaugh and other U.S. government officials, many of whom participated virtually in the Pre-Summit, promoted U.S. priorities for the Summit and laid the groundwork for meaningful Summit outcomes (news release).

In the lead up to the UN Food Systems Summit, USDA hosted three National Food Systems Dialogues to facilitate inclusive dialogue on sustainable food systems. More than 200 stakeholders took part, including farmers, food industry representatives, environmental groups, nutrition and food security advocates, unions and advocates for farm and food systems workers, and researchers. For the U.S. National Food Systems Dialogues, USDA followed the UN three-stage dialogue framework, with the first dialogue (PDF, 179 KB) focusing on challenges, the second (PDF, 174 KB) on solutions, and the third (PDF, 229 KB) on pathways to achieving more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable food systems in the United States. A fourth (PDF, 195 KB) dialogue focused on engaging youth.

As one contribution to the Food Systems Summit, U.S.-based businesses, coalitions, organizations, and state or local governments listed the actions they are taking to build more sustainable food systems in the U.S. Compendium of Sustainable Food Systems Actions.