ARLINGTON, Va. — FMI—The Food Industry Association and The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University on Friday hosted a gathering of food and nutrition sector leaders to forge solutions and spur collective action to support the historic White House National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, which aims to end hunger, improve nutrition and reduce diet-related diseases by 2030.
The convening, Food Industry Collective: Commitments in Action, held in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, featured panel discussions with key U.S. food and nutrition sector leaders, hunger and nutrition advocates, health care professionals, and scientists on the ways industry can be more innovative and ambitious to help achieve these goals.
“Gathering around the table today with so many food and nutrition partners is a testament to our shared vision of providing all Americans with equitable access to healthy food to lower the likelihood of diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension,” said Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of FMI – The Food Industry Association and Co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Food and Nutrition Security Task Force. “Working together, we are committed to bringing leaders from across the food industry, government, and communities together to accomplish these goals.”
Experts presented existing food sector commitments and opportunities and challenges for additional innovative solutions and actions that could be scaled for greater impact. This included consideration of new multi-sector collaborations and achievable outcomes via panel and small group discussions, strategies to formalize commitments, and ways to work with the Biden Administration and Congress on the national goals in 2023 and beyond.
In partnership with Sarasin, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, provided opening remarks and presented on a panel around the role of investors in driving positive change. Mozaffarian also serves as a Co-chair of the Task Force on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health – a nongovernment, nonpartisan group of subject matter experts and multi-sector leaders that has worked to help inform the National Strategy. Mozaffarian emphasized the potential for this historic moment in time to inspire and energize diverse stakeholders in the food sector – farmers, manufacturers, retailers, restaurants, investors, and wellness companies – to up their game to help advance the directives laid out in the National Strategy.
“The White House Conference made clear that we are facing a national food crisis — harming our health, families, communities, economy, natural resources, and national security,” said Mozaffarian. “I am hopeful that, with concerted attention, action, and accountability, we can work together to create a healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable food system for all.”