Event discusses solutions to transform food systems globally - GulfToday

Event discusses solutions to transform food systems globally

Badr Jafar speaks during the event.

Badr Jafar speaks during the event.

Inayat-ur-Rahman, Business Editor

The World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) hosted the Food Innovation Conference 2024 in Dubai, under the theme ‘Reimagining Future Food Systems’. This high-level event convened global experts from across business, academia, government and civil society to deepen cooperation and scale technology solutions to transform food systems globally.

The closing session featured keynote speeches by Dr Amna Al Dahak, UAE Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and Special Envoy for Business and Philanthropy.

Other prominent speakers at the conference included Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, Khadim Al Derai, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Al Dahra Holding, Ibrahim Al Zu’bi, Group Chief Sustainability Officer at Adnoc Group, and Jane Nelson, Director of Corporate Responsibility at Harvard Kennedy School.

The event stressed the fundamental shift that must take place in the way food is produced and consumed to address nterrelated challenges such as food insecurity, biodiversity loss and carbon emissions.

During his keynote speech, Badr Jafar, who also chaired the COP28 Business & Philanthropy Climate Forum, emphasised the importance of harnessing the combined power of business and philanthropy, stating, “If we are to truly transform our food systems, we need to supercharge our commitment to collaboration across borders and across disciplines and sectors.”

“As a businessperson who also believes in power of strategic philanthropy, I am optimistic that we are entering a new era of multi-stakeholder cooperation where artificial walls between government, business and philanthropy are coming down.”

With widespread malnutrition of 2 billion people globally, food systems today also contribute heavily to environmental challenges. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), current food production methods are responsible for one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, 80 per cent of deforestation, and consume over 70 per cent of the world’s freshwater. Additionally, global food consumption is projected to rise by at least 50 per cent by 2050.

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