World Food Day: Nourishing People and Nurturing the Planet through Sustainable Healthy Diets

Eurice involved in four Horizon 2020 projects on sustainable food production

Let’s celebrate together! World Food Day 2019 is calling for action across sectors to make sustainable healthy diets affordable and available to everyone. This year, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions are inviting you to celebrate the day and discuss the cross-sectoral role of nutrition with a focus on obesity at local, national, EU and global level.

This year's #WorldFoodDay is celebrated with a high-level event taking place in Brussels. This event is joining up with FOOD 2030, linking the EU Research and Innovation context to the global campaign. Providing an evidence base to policy making and delivering solutions with co-bene¬fits is more than ever key to catalyse systems change.

One of the main issues also tackled by EU research projects is biodiversity – an invaluable asset which is rapidly lost due to intensified food production and climate change. Today, only nine plant species account for 66% of total crop production despite the fact that throughout history, more than 6000 species have been cultivated for food. A diverse variety of crops is crucial for providing healthy diets and safeguarding the environment.

The Eurice project portfolio comprises four currently running Horizon 2020 projects specifically dealing with biodiversity and sustainable food production:

The 19-partner project GoodBerry focuses on improving berry production and fruit nutritional quality under climate change scenarios making sure that attractive fruit choices are accessible to a wide population. Browse through the project website or watch the animated clip to learn more about GoodBerry.

TomGEM was launched in 2016 with the aim to design heat-tolerant tomato varieties and management practices in the light of rapidly changing climatic conditions worldwide. Watch the TomGEM interview clips and visit the website to learn more.

G2P-SOL also focuses on solanaceae: The international research endeavour aims to understand and utilise the genetic diversity of the four major solanaceous food crops (potato, tomato, pepper and eggplant) in order to increase sustainability of agriculture in the face of a changing environment and the appearance of new pests. On the occasion of this year’s World Food Day, we have supported the consortium in the production of an interview series with central actors in the field sharing their views on the importance of plant genetic resources. The interviews are available on the G2P-SOL website.

The 22 partners of BRESOV are focussing on three important vegetable crops (broccoli, snap bean and tomato) with the main aim to increase the plants’ tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses and adapt the varieties to the specific requirements of organic and low-input production processes.

World Food Day is celebrated on 16th October in up to 150 countries across the world, making it one of the most celebrated days in the UN calendar.

More information is available here.