UN Food Systems Summit

What will it take to ensure that the world's population has an adequate supply of healthy food in future? In September 2021, the UN will host the Food Systems Summit to provide a platform for discussion on sustainable food systems that will also help to protect the world's biodiversity and climate. A series of preparatory dialogues were held at national and international level ahead of the summit in September.

Sustainable food systems play a key role in efforts to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN's 2030 Agenda. UN Secretary-General António Guterres considers them to be critically important in this respect.  Jacques Ducrest, the Federal Council's delegate for the 2030 Agenda, notes: "Food systems are interlinked with each of the 17 SDGs". Sustainable food systems ensure that the world's population will have access to a healthy diet long into the future and at the same time protect the climate and biodiversity. They also contribute to prosperity. Following a national-level preparatory phase, representatives of the UN member states will meet at the Food Systems Summit in New York in September 2021 in order to define common priorities aimed at making food systems sustainable in the long term.

Preparatory phase: national and independent dialogues

Four rounds of dialogue were held at national level in Switzerland between March and June 2021 in preparation for the Food Systems Summit. Representatives of the agricultural sector, academia, the private sector and civil society met with representatives of the Federal Administration to define a common line of action.

At the same time, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) organised, through its Agriculture and Food Security Network, independent dialogues with around 290 participants from 69 countries.

The topics discussed included ways to achieve sustainable food production to ensure that everyone has access to healthy and affordable food, as well as methods to improve livelihoods in rural areas.

Stocktaking in Rome

Following the national preparatory phase, a Swiss delegation led by the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) and consisting of representatives from the FDFA, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO), as well as from the private sector and academia, took part in the pre-summit of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome from 26 to 28 July 2021. The Swiss delegation presented Switzerland's transformation plan for sustainable food systems. The participants shared ideas and approaches, took stock of progress achieved so far and defined joint lines of action to be discussed in a global framework at the Food Systems Summit in September.

Switzerland calls for the transformation of food systems

Switzerland participated in the pre-summit of the UN Food System Summit in Rome from 26 to 28 July 2021, where it advocated for the transformation of food systems. This international event was organised as part of the preparations for the Food System Summit to be held in New York in September.


A woman getting a bottle for a customer at a market stall in Africa.

"Food systems impact on the climate, water and health – and vice versa"

How can we ensure that the world's population has an adequate supply of healthy food in future? The UN is addressing this question at a special conference which Switzerland is helping to prepare.

View of the vegetable section of a supermarket.

Darling, we need to talk (about food)

Sustainable food systems are needed to ensure that humanity will continue to have access to healthy and affordable food in future – such food systems are key to achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda. The UN's Food Systems Summit 2021 aims to provide answers.

An African woman stands in a field holding vegetables in her hands.

Agriculture and food security

As well as endangering the health of individuals, hunger and malnutrition pose a significant threat to the development of countries. The SDC is therefore committed to ensuring appropriate, sufficient and good-quality food for all.

Woman sitting on the ground preparing food while a child clings to her in Mali

Strengthening the Right to Adequate Food

With around a tenth of the global population - up to 811 million people - undernourished in 2020, the right to food is still not realized. For the past thirty years, FIAN International has raised awareness about people’s right to food worldwide and expanded spaces for civil society to hold governments more accountable. 

Various varieties of potato on a colourful cloth.

Making Markets work to improve the consumption of nutritious and healthy food

Poor diets - too little food, too much food, or the wrong combinations of foods - are the number-one risk factor for ill health. What people eat depends on what is available on the market as well as accessible, affordable and desirable to consume. 

Mainstreaming Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) into Agricultural Systems in Africa

Switzerland supports the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative that promotes a viable alternative in Africa to ensure sustainable agricultural development, food and nutrition security of smallholder farmers in an environmentally sustainable manner, thereby contributing towards a more sustainable global food system.