This October, the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs are sending a report on food and nutrition to the Dutch Parliament, in order to contribute to the Dutch Food Security policy. With the help of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, an independent initiative funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that brings together representatives from organizations of business, science, civil society and policy, the Ministries gathered the latest topics and debates on food security. Specialist organizations contributed by highlighting the most pertinent issues and possible solutions based on their expertise.

The public online consultation was organized around five themes, led by the question – how can the Netherlands most effectively contribute to achieving (1) 100% access to adequate food all year round; (2) zero stunted children less than 2 years; (3) all food systems sustainable; (4) 100% increase in smallholder productivity and income; and (5) zero loss or waste of food.

Consultant Sharon Hesp contributed to the consultation, on behalf of NewForesight, under two themes. For the third theme on sustainable food systems she states that interventions such as standards and certification have been unable to generate the necessary change in the food system. There is a need for a system change which can be generated through mobilizing key stakeholders to reform sector dynamics, such as production characteristics, alternative livelihoods, market characteristics and enabling environments. Under the fourth theme, calling for an increase in smallholder productivity and income, she claims that there is a need for entrepreneurial farmers who possess the knowledge, skills and resources to invest in their farms. Through sustainable intensification farmers are required to implement better agricultural and management practices, to have access to and knowledge of correct use of inputs, and to have an enabling environment that provides access to training and finance.

The full report is available online.