All across the world governments, businesses, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the media along with the general public are joining forces this week to celebrate the world’s food heroes and promoting World Food Day (Friday, 16 October).
As it celebrates its 75th anniversary, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), which is responsible for World Food Day, continues to raise awareness for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.
The theme this year is ‘Grow, Nourish, Sustain, Together’ and highlights the need to grow a variety of food to nourish people and to sustain the planet. World Food Day encourages everyone in society to be more aware of what and how they eat.
It is also an opportunity to promote the food heroes within the supply chain, something that has become even more important to our daily lives over the past months as Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs explains:
“The last few months have undoubtedly been hugely challenging – and continue to be – for our food producers. The COVID-19 crisis has brought into sharp focus the importance of a continuous, safe and secure food supply chain. Food and drink manufacturers have demonstrated great resilience to keep the nation fed at this difficult time and their essential workforce should be celebrated as hidden heroes.
“Today on World Food Day, I would like to pay tribute to all those who are working throughout the food supply chain – from farmers, to manufacturers, to retailers – thank you. The industry has worked tirelessly to ensure that we have the food that we need and the effort across the supply chain has been truly remarkable.”
With differing economies and climates, each nation has its own challenges, and as a result, the FAO is encouraging different parts of the world to act accordingly. For example, food security and nutrition is the focus for developing nations, while food waste and sustainability are key focus areas for developed countries.
Ahead of World Food Day the Welsh Government also announced the continuation of its free school meal provision during school holidays up to and including Easter 2021. The £11 million investment will help provide invaluable reassurance to many families during such uncertain times.
According to the FAO, nearly 690 million people across the globe are hungry and that figure has increased by 10 million since 2019. It is estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic could add between 83-132 million people to this figure, dependent on the economic growth scenario.
This year’s World Food Day events will be held online. For further details on how you can play your part in helping the world eradicate food poverty once and for all, go to www.fao.org