Ivo Demmers, incoming Executive Director of the Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP), is equally convinced: “The expertise of working in partnerships is what sets us apart from other countries and societies where there is less history in working together. As NFP, we feel that we must share our knowledge and experience to foster the capacity of partners in low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to transition towards sustainable food systems.”
The food systems approach aims at sustainable solutions for a sufficient supply of healthy food. It covers the entire process of producing, processing, distributing, and consuming food. It is broader than the value chain concept, as it includes socio-economic and environmental dimensions. A sustainable food system is one that can provide healthy and nutritious food for all while minimising negative impacts on the environment and promoting social and economic equity.
NFP is convinced that the transition to sustainable food systems can only succeed with functioning partnerships. Ideally, these partnerships include four types of organisations: government, private, civil society, and knowledge institutes. Here, NFP acts as a convener of partnerships that are shaped around a particular food system challenge. In these partnerships, organisations such as research institutes, farmer organisations, technology suppliers, retailers, input suppliers, government, investors, and financiers join forces to develop sustainable food systems. These partnerships can be effective on local, regional, or global levels.