United Fresh News > NZ’s Horticultural Voice Heard at UN Food Systems Summit

8 December 2020

NZ’s Horticultural Voice Heard at UN Food Systems Summit

New Zealand produce industry leader and United Fresh Knowledge Officer, Dr Hans Maurer, will help represent global horticulture sector interests in the lead up to United Nation’s Food Systems Summit next year. 

The Summit is being convened by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems.  

The International Federation for Produce Standards (IFPS) has appointed Auckland-based Dr Maurer to a Private Sector Guiding Group (PSGG) which will provide guidance and insight for the 2021 Summit from a business perspective. IFPS will represent the horticulture/produce sector on the PSGG. The group will be chaired by Peter Bakker, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).[1] 

The PSGG consists of representatives from 27 business associations selected to create geographical, supply chain and business size diversity, and true business representation in preparation for the Food Systems Summit.  

Dr Maurer currently serves as IFPS Vice Chair and also chairs the IFPS Information and Standardisation Committee. Here in New Zealand, he holds a key role as United Fresh’s Knowledge Officer and Technical Advisory Group Chair. 

Dr Maurer hopes his involvement on the PSGG, on behalf of IFPS, can contribute to flow-on effects in New Zealand, particularly in the area of National Food Systems Dialogues which the UN calls a “foundation and source of inspiration for the Food Systems Summit”.[2] 

United Fresh President Jerry Prendergast is delighted the New Zealand produce industry will be able to contribute to the work of the PSGG via Dr Maurer’s appointment and points to the pan-industry body’s long-standing commitment to represent its members’ interests through international industry structures such as the 5+ A Day Movement and IFPS.  

Next year’s summit has been described as both a ‘people’s summit’ and a ‘solutions summit’ that will require everyone to take action to transform the world’s food systems. 

The Summit will bring together key players from the worlds of science, business, policy, healthcare and academia, as well as farmers, indigenous people, youth organisations, consumer groups, environmental activists, and other key stakeholders with the aim of bringing about tangible, positive changes to the world’s food systems. 

“It is unacceptable that hunger is on the rise at a time when the world wastes more than one billion tonnes of food every year,” says UN Secretary-General António Guterres. “It is time to change how we produce and consume, including to reduce greenhouse emissions. Transforming food systems is crucial for delivering all the Sustainable Development Goals. As a human family, a world free of hunger is our imperative.”