AGree Launches Nutritional, Environmental and International InitiativesMon, 10 Nov 2014 10:34:00 CST
A highly diverse and remarkably broad group of farmers, ranchers, agri-businesses, environmentalists, nutritionists, and other experts Monday announced a landmark set of consensus recommendations and targeted initiatives on critical issues facing food and agriculture. The recommendations call for far-reaching changes to federal policy and private-sector action and have significant implications for food production, processing, and consumption.
AGree is calling for: a major shift in how conservation of working landscapes is undertaken and funded toward watershed-scale partnership approaches; a commitment to making food security an enduring goal of U.S. foreign assistance through permanent law; and significant intensification of efforts to integrate public- and private-sector programs and policies focused on improving community health through food and nutrition.
"AGree's consensus recommendations will serve as roadmaps for action," said Deborah Atwood, AGree's Executive Director. "For three years, AGree has focused on achieving consensus. With wide-ranging and often divergent points of view around the table, it has been a long, at times difficult, but very fruitful journey. AGree will now focus on implementation and advocacy."
Going forward, AGree will be structured as an initiative-focused and partner-driven effort. Each initiative will work on a key dimension of the food and agriculture system and tackle specific areas of concern. These areas may include both policy change and private-sector action, and will require diverse partnerships.
The AGree initiatives launched Monday are Working Landscapes: Achieving Productivity, Profitability, and Environmental Outcomes; Food & Nutrition: Cultivating Healthy Communities; and, International Development: Promoting Development through Food and Agriculture. Immigration Reform: Achieving a Stable, Legal Workforce was launched earlier this year.
To inform its work, AGree convened more than a thousand leaders in food, agriculture and related sectors and published a considerable body of research and white papers to advance understanding on critical issues.
"Through substantial engagement and dialogue across a wide variety of interests, AGree has achieved consensus. We offer a compelling vision for the future of food and agriculture in the U.S. and around the world, as well as a range of strategies and recommendations to achieve it," said Dan Glickman, AGree Co-Chair and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.
"Our intent from the outset has been to affect change," said AGree Co-Chair and Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, Inc., Gary Hirshberg. "With far reaching recommendations in hand, we are forging partnerships to ensure a 21st century food system that can meet demand for affordable and nutritious food into the future and make healthy food available and accessible to all."
"As we advocate for real and lasting change, we also need to ensure that farmers and ranchers can stay on the land and make a living while we conserve of our nation's soil, water and habitat and secure healthy working landscapes in perpetuity," said Jim Moseley, AGree Co-Chair, Indiana farmer and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.
"In addition to focusing on domestic issues, AGree has engaged producers and agribusinesses alongside the international development community to chart a path forward for the U.S. to promote development through food and agriculture," said Emmy Simmons, AGree Co-Chair and former Assistant Administrator at USAID. "It is very exciting to see a growing commitment to global food security given rising demands for safe, nutritious and affordable food, increased pressures on natural resources, and rapidly changing market conditions."
AGree is planning two major events later this month to launch its new initiatives. On November 18, AGree is holding a public forum, "A Better Path from Farm to Fork: Policy Solutions for the Future of Food," co- hosted with National Geographic at its Washington, D.C., headquarters. This event will be followed by a reception in the National Geographic Museum, featuring the new exhibit, Food: Our Global Kitchen, click here to read more. The following day, AGree will host a Partners Forum, also in Washington, D.C., attended by leaders from more than 100 organizations.
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