Many people are familiar with Barilla products. They can be found in many countries, and not just in Europe. Not many know of the existence of the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN), which has been organizing meetings and producing analyses on food and food sustainability since 2009.
Why are we talking about this in this section dedicated to the soil and European institutions?
On last 6 June, the BCFN organized the International Forum on Food & Nutrition in Brussels. The event consisted of a succession of presentations, round tables and debates throughout the day that featured researchers, European political officials (including the current European Commissioner for Agriculture), a number of MEPs (the debate on immigration between 5 members of the European Parliament was particularly interesting), entrepreneurs, representatives of civil society and international organizations and finishing off with an address from the singer and poet Bob Geldof.
It is impossible to summarize the various speeches and debates here: you can view the video and documents on the BCFN website.
We can, however, take a look at the Forum’s concluding document.
It contains a series of recommendations on the new Common Agricultural Policy (discussions on which have just been launched by the European Commission). It starts by stating that the EU must provide itself not with a Common Agricultural Policy but an Agri-Food System Policy. The distinction is not semantic but strategic. The Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 are based on a sustainable agri-food system. With this in mind, the BCFN sets out three clear objectives for the EU:
- Build a sustainable agri-food policy
- Build the Mediterranean model of rural development
- Agri-food and rural development policies for sustainable migration
For each of these objectives the BCFN describes the context to be faced and what actions must be put into place by EU policies.
The Forum does not end here, this year it will continue on 28 September in New York and 27/28 November in Milan.
We sincerely hope that Barilla will put the recommendations made into practice by, for example, ensuring that the flours it uses do not contain glyphosate.