Daniel and Nina Carasso

Launch of IPES-Food – a new group of high level scientists on sustainable food systems

The Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation established an International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food).

IPES-Food initiative addresses evidence-based advocacy on sustainable food systems and diets. This group of high-level scientists aims to provide the policy makers, the private sector and the public at large with the evidence to guide a transition towards sustainable food systems and diets.

The food challenge requires that today modes of production, supply chain and consumption are rethought and reworked. This cannot be allowed to emerge slowly. It must be actively pushed and promoted. The evidence for the need to significantly change our food systems and diets is increasingly strong. As declared by Prof. Olivier De Schutter, who is finalizing his mandate as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, “Producing more food will not do. Food systems must be reshaped with a view to ensuring social equity and the reduction of rural poverty, protecting our resource base and delivering better health outcomes. Multidisciplinary research is urgently needed to promote adequate solutions at policy and global levels. And it must include an analysis of consumer behaviour, to encourage sustainable consumption as an integral part of food systems reform.” Prof. De Schutter will co-chair IPES-Food, together with Dr Olivia Yambi.                                             

The aims of IPES-Food initiative

To achieve its objectives, IPES-Food seeks to:

  • Analyze and synthesize evidence in the field of sustainable food systems and diets
  • Identify gaps of knowledge and priority fields of research, encourage and guide research on sustainable food systems and diets
  • Develop tools for decision makers in order to determine national guidelines on sustainable diets
  • Influence stakeholders (policy makers, scientific communities, food chain actors, civil society, media, public at large)
  • Support concrete food policy transitions.

A long-term outlook (at least 5 years) is particularly important for such a complex, comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach that has not yet been widely recognized or adopted.

IPES-Food will be composed of between 25 and 30 members, appointed for their expertise and commitment to the issue, who contribute in their personal capacity, independently from their organization. IPES-Food is currently composed of 11 members and is co-chaired by Dr Olivia Yambi, nutritionist and former UNICEF representative to Kenya, and Prof. Olivier De Schutter, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, until 30th May.

The members will cover a broad range of disciplines with complementary expertise spanning the entire breath and complexity of food systems.

At least, 75% of IPES-Food members will be high-level and internationally recognized scientists from relevant disciplines,including: ecology, environment, nutrition, food economy, food sociology, behavioural psychology, food policy, food legal background, food production, food processing and food consumption.

Other members will be actors on the ground (representatives of consumer associations, of the civil society…), experts in global prospective studies and creative thinkers with the ability to devise innovative ways to convey messages.

IPES-Food-EAT Initiative collaboration and overall partnership policy

The Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation joined forces with EAT Initiative (http://www.eatforum.org/). The instigators of both IPES-Food and EAT Initiative realized that bringing about the necessary policy reforms, innovations and behavior changes to achieve sustainable food systems is a monumental task that cannot be achieved by any organization or initiative alone. Sharing the same concerns and overall aims, they have decided to join forces and plan their initiatives in a closely coordinated way, building on their respective strengths, to create synergies and complement each other. IPES-Food will contribute its analysis and synthesis of scientific evidence and messages as a contribution to the science agenda of EAT Initiative and will use the annual EAT Stockholm Food Forum as a major platform for outreach and communication.

Driven by its collaborative spirit, the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation plans to bring into the initiative additional funding and operating partners (foundations, scientific organizations, intergovernmental bodies and leading advocacy organizations such as NGOs) to further strengthen the initiative and bolster its capacity to achieve its ambitious goal.

“Initially, IPES-Food has a specific task and remit, but the Foundation is aware that its work could evolve in different directions regarding its linkages with civil society, governments and private sector. The fact remains, however, that the world currently lacks a global scientific advisory body that looks at sustainable food systems in all their complexity. This is what EAT Initiative and IPES-Food collaboration will bring. One possible and desirable direction would be to see a broadly supported Intergovernmental Initiative emerge that will address this crucial issue,” specified Mrs Marie-Stéphane Maradeix, Executive Secretary of the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation.

The Premio Daniel Carasso: an international award to support/encourage research in the field of sustainable food

The Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation’s vocation is to encourage research and promote innovation in sustainable food systems and diets. That desire for progress prompted the idea of the Premio Daniel Carasso in 2012.

The Premio is an international prize awarded every two years to a research scientist or a research team for outstanding work in the field of “sustainable food systems and diets for long term health”. More than just an award, the Premio is designed to promote innovative, cross-disciplinary research into food systems. The 2nd edition of the Premio Daniel Carasso was launched on April the 1st, 2014. Applications may be submitted till June 30th, 2014.

The Daniel and Nina Carrasso Foundation awards the winning entrant a prize of €100,000 and he/she will be the Foundation’s ambassador on the issue of sustainable food systems and diets on a period of two years.

For more information,visit the official web site: http://www.fondationcarasso.org

About the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation

The Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation was established in 2010 in memory of Daniel Carasso, founder of Danone in France and Dannon in the USA, and his wife. The Foundation is very much a family organization. On its Executive Committee sit its president, Marina Nahmias, daughter of Daniel and Nina Carasso, her family and individuals with different expertise.

Under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation supports sustainable food systems and art projects.

More information available on: http://www.fondationcarasso.org.