Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sustainable food systems transition: Nordic experience and its applicability for Georgia

30.05.2021 (Caucasian Journal). Today at Caucasian Journal we are talking about sustainable food systems: The Nordic experience and its applicability for Georgia. Our guests are Dr. Afton HALLORAN, a Denmark-based expert in sustainable food systems transition, Elene SHATBERASHVILI from Elkana Biological Farming Association, and Dr.  Dmitry KOSTAROV, head of agricultural television channel Saperavi TV and independent winemaker.

Our  interview can be watched or read in two languages. Below we present the full English text version of interview.  ქართულად: The Georgian text version is here
▶ For video version, click here.

Alexander KAFFKA, editor-in-chief of CJ:  I would like to thank Afton Halloran for making this interview for us, and my first question is: We know that Nordic countries are among the leaders in sustainable food systems transition. Why is it so, and if you share a little bit of your knowledge and approaches to this problem we would be very grateful.

Afton HALLORAN: Hi, my name is Afton Halloran, and I’m an independent consultant in sustainable food systems transitions. I work with different organizations and agencies to understand how they can transform the food system. So when we talk about the food system we need to talk about the different dimensions of the food system. For example, the human dimension, societal dimension, but also the economic dimension, the ecological or environmental dimension, even the political dimension. So when we consider all of these dimensions as a whole and how they influence food, and what we produce and what we consume, and everything in between, we see this as a system, as a whole.

So why is it so important to talk about the food system in the 21st century?

Well first of all if we look at the environmental dimension or the ecological dimension, global food systems are the largest single driver of environmental decline.

And then when we look at it from a biodiversity perspective we can see that food systems are the primary driver of biodiversity loss, because of unsustainable forms of food production.

For example, through deforestation to create further crop land, when we look at it from a resource perspective. We also have to consider food waste, that globally one third of food that's produced is lost or wasted. Also when we waste this food along the value chain we're also wasting resources. About eight percent of global greenhouse gas emissions that are produced by humans are coming from food waste, and this is something that can be prevented.

So when we look at it from a human nutrition perspective, or a societal perspective, we know that malnutrition is a definitely a challenge on a global level. One out of nine people go to bed hungry every day - still, in the 21st century!