As part of its series of briefs on food systems, the Global Panel’s new brief, Rethinking trade policies to support sustainable food systems and healthy diets, shows that there are clear benefits to aligning trade policies with the goal of providing healthy and sustainable diets for all. The brief aims to help policymakers address the key issues to take into consideration when choosing trade policies. It shows why policymakers who are committed to improving diets and nutrition should pay more attention to the value of trade instruments as part of their portfolio of actions.

The primary focus is on cross-border flows of food and agricultural commodities, exploring the effects that trade can have on the supply and affordability of nutrient-rich foods. It also considers how trends in global trade affect diets, greenhouse gas emissions and the natural environment upon which food systems depend.

The brief provides a series of policy actions and opportunities for leveraging trade to improve diets with the following top-line messages:

  • Close attention should be paid to trade policies that influence the relative price of foods within domestic markets.
  • High priority should be given to trade policies that specifically help to increase the availability and to reduce the price of nutrient-rich foods.
  • Policymakers should be alert to the effects of trade policies on the availability and pricing of imports of ultra-processed foods.
  • Policymakers should pay close attention to trade agreements which embody strong investor protections, as they can be problematic.
  • Food trade can be especially beneficial in managing price volatility and climate change risks.

As part of its series of briefs on food systems, the Global Panel’s new brief, Rethinking trade policies to support sustainable food systems and healthy diets, shows that there are clear benefits to aligning trade policies with the goal of providing healthy and sustainable diets for all. The brief aims to help policymakers address the key issues to take into consideration when choosing trade policies. It shows why policymakers who are committed to improving diets and nutrition should pay more attention to the value of trade instruments as part of their portfolio of actions.

The primary focus is on cross-border flows of food and agricultural commodities, exploring the effects that trade can have on the supply and affordability of nutrient-rich foods. It also considers how trends in global trade affect diets, greenhouse gas emissions and the natural environment upon which food systems depend.

The brief provides a series of policy actions and opportunities for leveraging trade to improve diets with the following top-line messages:

  • Close attention should be paid to trade policies that influence the relative price of foods within domestic markets.
  • High priority should be given to trade policies that specifically help to increase the availability and to reduce the price of nutrient-rich foods.
  • Policymakers should be alert to the effects of trade policies on the availability and pricing of imports of ultra-processed foods.
  • Policymakers should pay close attention to trade agreements which embody strong investor protections, as they can be problematic.
  • Food trade can be especially beneficial in managing price volatility and climate change risks.

Progress for both SDG 2 and SDG 6 has been unsatisfactory, with several indicators worsening over time, including an increase in the number of undernourished, overweight and obese people, as well as rapid increases in the number of people at risk of severe water shortages. This lack of progress is exacerbated by climate change and growing regional and global inequities in food and water security, including access to good quality diets, leading to increased violation of the human rights to water and food. Reversing these trends will require a much greater effort on the part of water, food security, and nutrition communities, including stronger performances by the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition and the United Nations International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development

The UNSCN Discussion Paper Water and Nutrition. Harmonizing Actions for the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition and the United Nations Water Action Decade analyzes the complex web of pathways that link water, food security and nutrition outcomes. Climate change and the growing demand for water resources are also considered, given their central role in shaping future water and nutrition security. It calls for increased and systematic collaboration between the nutrition and water sectors and actors, to be able to reach both the water and nutrition targets and the 2030 Agenda.

Malnutrition, in all its forms, is often driven by the poor quality of diets in early childhood. Globally, 2 in 3 children are not fed the diets they need to support children’s rapid growth and brain development. While most children are still breastfeeding, the complementary foods they are fed often miss nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and foods of animal origin such as eggs, fish, dairy or meat. Furthermore, the consumption of nutrient-poor snack foods and beverages is on the rise in young children.

Good diets for young children are driven by good foods, good practices and good services. This guidance highlights the determinants and drivers of poor diets in young children, describes the most recent evidence on improving complementary foods and feeding, and presents action frameworks to improve young children’s diets using a systems approach, supporting global efforts to improve young children’s diets, in all contexts.

7-8 February 2020
Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

The symposium addresses the challenge of achieving sustainable food systems in a global context from different perspectives. As sustainability in the frame of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)-agenda excludes a monothematic approach, experts from the field of agronomy, agricultural economics, environmental and ecological sciences, nutritional and social sciences as well as health collaborate towards an inter- and transdisciplinary approach. This is not free from controversial debate.

Abstract submission is open until 31 October 2019

Programme

Thu, Feb 6, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (GMT)

A webinar organized by UNICEF and the Iodine Global Network

Registration: Confirm your attendance by sending an email to Arnold Timmer, atimmer@ign.org, by 3rd February 2020.

The objective of the webinar is to disseminate the new Guidance on the Monitoring of Salt Iodization Programmes and Determination of Population Iodine Status (attached) to programme managers and other national and international stakeholders involved in iodine nutrition and salt iodization programmes.  The webinar is based on the recommendations published by UNICEF in the Guidance on the Monitoring of Salt Iodization Programmes and Determination of Population Iodine Status in 2018.
 
The UNICEF Guidance on the Monitoring of Salt Iodization Programmes and Determination of Population Iodine Status has compiled the lessons learned of decades of programme monitoring. It provides a set of recommendations and adjustments in the way monitoring should take place. The Guidance is intended to complement and update information contained in the WHO Guideline on Fortification of Food-grade Salt with Iodine for the Prevention and Control of Iodine Deficiency Disorders (2014) and the WHO/UNICEF/ICCIDD Guide for Programme Managers on Assessment of Iodine Deficiency Disorders and Monitoring their Elimination (2007).   

Agenda:

  • Background iodine nutrition programmes.
  • Monitoring salt iodization and iodine status.
  • Recommended changes in monitoring programme performance and impact.
  • Questions and answers.

Speakers:

  • Mawuli Sablah (UNICEF HQ, Nutrition Specialist)
  • Jonathan Gorstein (Iodine Global Network, Executive Director)
  • Roland Kupka (UNICEF HQ, Senior Adviser)
  • Arnold Timmer (IGN Senior Adviser and moderator)

Please join the webinar from your computer, tablet or smartphone:
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/165314661

You can also dial in using your phone:
United States (Toll Free): 1 877 309 2073
United States: +1 (571) 317-3129

Access Code: 165-314-661

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The 11th Nutritional & Health-related Environmental Studies Newsletter features the following articles.

Meeting outcomes

  • 4th Federation of African Nutrition Societies (FANUS) Conference
  • Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS)
  • General Conference side events
  • Nutrition workshop for SIDS Member States

News 

  • New Technical Cooperation Cycle
  • Application of stable isotopes to understand the effect of environmental enteric dysfunction on protein metabolism and health outcomes

Publications

  • Perspective: Creating the evidence base for nutritional support in childhood cancer in low- and middle-income countries: priorities for body composition research
  • IAEA Support for the Use of Stable Isotope Techniques to Assess Micronutrients

Success stories

  • Toolbox to measure body fatness in children expanded in the European region
  • Not all food proteins are equal: how nuclear techniques help to understand protein quality in low- and middleincome countries
  • Combatting childhood obesity in Jamaica by strengthening nutrition assessment capacity

This edition also features a NAHRES Special article entitled Nutrition and Food Systems at the Climate COP in Madrid by the UNSCN.

You can download you copy here.

Read about our meetings and get inspired by some success stories on IAEA supported projects. A big accomplishment during the last months was the publication of the DBM symposium outputs; check them out. Moreover, don’t miss our news section, where you will find exciting information about the preparation of the new Technical Cooperation (TC) Cycle for 2022-2023. Finally, don’t miss the contribution made by UNSCN on the UN Climate Change Conference held in Madrid, Spain in December 2019.

Monday, 27 January 2020
12:15 pm to 1:45 pm (EST)
IFPRI (Washington, DC)

IFPRI, CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) are pleased to invite you to the seminar Food Systems Dashboard: How it will work

Our food systems are bankrupting our health systems, accelerating climate change and using natural resources in an unsustainable way.  Most people agree they need to be transformed to change this.  But how?  Food systems are complex and offer many entry points for change.  In addition, the data to describe food systems and their performance is scattered and not interoperable.  In effect we are flying blind in our journey to change food systems for the better.

The Food System Dashboard, developed by GAIN and Johns Hopkins University in collaboration with iTech Mission, University of Michigan, and Euromonitor, responds to this challenge. It brings together extant data from public and private sources to help decision makers diagnose their food systems and identify all their levers of change and the ones that need to be pulled first. Following presentation of the Food Systems Dashboard, commentators will reflect on data and indicators as well as on implications for developing countries.

Speakers

  • Jessica Fanzo, Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Global Food & Agricultural Policy and Ethics; Director for Johns Hopkins Global Food Ethics and Policy Program, Johns Hopkins University (JHU)
  • Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

Discussants

  • Inge Brouwer, Associate Professor of Food and Nutrition Security, Wageningen University & Research, and A4NH Flagship Leader of Food Systems for Healthier Diets

  • Olivier Ecker, Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI
  • Gina Kennedy, Theme leader, Diet Diversity for Nutrition and Health, Bioversity International

Moderator

  • John McDermott, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH)

Register here

Live webcast and post-event viewing available here

During its 45th Plenary Session (October 2018), the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) requested the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) to produce a brief report titled “Food security and nutrition: building a global narrative towards 2030” that takes stock of HLPE contributions “with a view toward informing future CFS actions on FSN for all in the context of the 2030 Agenda”, with analysis that takes into account the perspective of those most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition. The overall aim of the report is to: “elaborate in a forward-looking perspective a global narrative on FSN, enlightened by previous HLPE publications and considering recent developments in the FSN sector” in order to provide strategic guidance towards the achievement of SDG2 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The report will be presented at CFS 47th Plenary session in October 2020.

The HLPE is organizing an online consultation to seek inputs, suggestions, and comments on the present preliminary V0 draft. The results of this consultation will be used by the HLPE to further elaborate the report, which will then be submitted to external expert review, before finalization and approval by the HLPE Steering Committee.

For more information, please visit the web page in English, French or Spanish to read the full introduction to the consultation.

23 January 2020, from 15:00 to 16:00 CET

Register here

Right in the middle of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025), and as countries make commitments towards achieving UHC, all policy-makers will be confronted with the same question: which interventions should be included in the national health system?

This requires careful prioritization across all potential health interventions and maximizing health outcomes within the available budget. Countries are encouraged to prioritize health interventions that are both cost-effective and serve the poorest and most vulnerable groups first so that no one is left behind.

Many nutrition interventions, including supplementation in pregnancy and food fortification, are highly cost-effective to prevent disease and mortality.

This webinar is organized by the Accelerated Reduction Effort on Anaemia (AREA) Community of Practice (CoP).

More information available here.