16th November 2022 18:15 – 19:00

Introduction

The COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukrania war have revealed severe shortcomings on globalized agri-food and energy supply chains, raising questions from globalization to security, safety, risk management and resilience.

This special conference is set to promote the Mediterranean as a modern, competitive, global and resource-sustainable platform to ensure global food security.

It will answer to the need for promoting urgent measures or, as we call them, “new solutions for troubling times”.

Key words

Food security, sustainability, responsible business practices, farming practices, industry standard, cooperation

Tarek El-Sherbini

Regional Head of Food & Agribusiness, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Ali Bensouda

Managing Partner, GO Consulting Maroc

Ben Leyka

Chief Executive Officer, African Agri Council

André Laperrière

Executive Director, Global Open Data for Agriculture Nutrition (GODAN)

Achieving a sustainable food future requires meeting three competing needs simultaneously: 1. efficiently closing the food gap; 2. preserving natural resources and climate; while 3. improving the environmental and social impact of agribusiness, also for smallholders.

“Green” and sustainable outcomes are a growing priority. The implementation of green projects requires transfer of know-how and also specific financial instruments.

Employment of skilled-labour is key in the agribusiness sector but clients are slow to adopt technological innovation and operational performance is often impaired by low labour productivity.

Rising food export surpluses and import deficits result in increasing trade polarisation, which is likely to persist. While trade is an essential part of improving food security outcomes, rising deficits create vulnerability to future price volatility.

Growth in regional trade integration and market interconnections encourages the development of comparative advantages and boosts resilience. At the same time, cross-border logistics and transport would contribute to a higher environmental footprint, if uncompensated by efficiency and technology improvements.

Transforming the world’s agri-food systems, the way we produce, process, distribute and consume food has been identified as one of the key avenues to achieve many targets of the 2030 Agenda.

The private sector plays a central role in addressing these challenges; offering innovative tools,  resources, knowledge and technologies that are critical to achieve the second SDG through agri-food systems transformation; adopting more inclusive and resilient practices in their businesses; and  investing in more efficient and sustainable technologies.

Micro, small and medium-sized agri-food enterprises (MSMEs), including start-ups, can play a critical role in achieving food security and eradicating rural poverty, with special emphasis on digital agriculture and youth and women-led businesses.

The challenges for the Mediterranean agribusiness sector will be: to remain competitive, to enhance productivity, to develop effective supply chains, to find access to finance, to foster cross-border trade and improved connectivity, and to be well-governed, resilient, integrated, sustainable and inclusive, enabling women and youth entrepreneurship.

Salvador Illa

Ministry of Health, Government of Spain (Special Guest Speaker)

Enric Mayolas

Consulting Director, World Health Management (Moderator)

Gonzalo Fanjul

Policy Director, Institut Salut Global

Chakib Abouzaid

Secretary General, General Arab Insurance Federation

European Regional Development Fund              A way to make Europe