Joint NMPF and USDEC Statement on UN Food Systems Summit
September 23, 2021
From NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern:
“The National Milk Producers Federation commends U.S. officials for their leadership throughout the UN Food Systems Summit process, including the pre-summit ministerial meeting in Rome and today’s important UN discussions. We especially thank U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and USAID Administrator Samantha Power for clearly laying out key commitments of the United States in the journey to enhanced food systems. Global progress requires global engagement, and as the world’s leading producer and exporter of food, U.S. leadership is crucial to furthering sustainable approaches that enhance food and nutrition security for all.
“U.S. dairy farmers are proud of our industry’s critical support of food and nutrition security and sustainability through world-leading farming practices that create high-quality milk and dairy products. Animal agriculture plays an important role in providing a sustainable source of nutrition that’s critical for healthy diets and communities as well as a healthy planet, and we are encouraged by the many statements by world leaders today recognizing this important fact.
“U.S. dairy is proud to be part of the new Coalition of Action for Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation led by the U.S. government. We’re ready to do the work needed to advance the pragmatic, forward-looking approach the U.S. has charted throughout the summit’s process, in collaboration with other key players worldwide. This wide-ranging effort includes encouraging innovation through initiatives such as U.S. dairy’s Net Zero Initiative. It means applying the best science learned and adapted through our internationally recognized FARM Program. And it also means through working to mitigate food and nutrition insecurity by advocating for school milk programs worldwide, along with other important priorities.
“Some have viewed the summit as an opportunity to issue lengthy lists of do’s and don’ts to the farmers worldwide who work hard every day to feed us all. We’re proud to promote an approach that recognizes that farmers everywhere advance sustainability in many ways – with America’s dairy farmers at the forefront. Rather than trying to impose a uniform, misguided ideology on how the world eats, farms and produces food, we all need to do our part to use limited resources wisely and efficiently to feed a growing world population in environmentally sounds ways.
“NMPF looks forward to future events, such as the UN’s Climate Change Conference in November, as benchmarks to highlight and encourage further progress toward more innovative and efficient production practices. More than that, we look forward to productive, collaborative efforts that advance these goals.”
From USDEC President and CEO Krysta Harden:
“The U.S. Dairy Export Council deeply appreciates the extensive, high-quality work and crucial leadership the U.S. government has shown during the UN Food Systems Summit in fostering positive discussion on how the global food system can work for everyone. At a time when food and nutrition insecurity is tragically increasing in many parts of the world, the U.S. dairy industry is proud to be part of global solutions for feeding more people, more nutritiously and more sustainably than ever before. We applaud U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and USAID Administrator Samantha Power for their important remarks today highlighting the U.S. government commitments to improve global food security and invest in climate smart agricultural practices. And we look forward to working in the months ahead, both with the U.S. government through its Coalition of Action for Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation and with other crucial players, to build on the ambition and momentum the summit has generated to deliver a more sustainable global food system that works for all.
“Throughout these food-systems discussions, a few key principles are clear. Rules-based international trade matters. Science-based, practical policies matter. Access to affordable, nutritious foods matter. Without these key principles, conflict arises, ideology triumphs over principle, and human health suffers. To support these principles, we reaffirm our commitment to advancing science and evidence-based policy making, promoting rules-based international trade, minimizing environmental impacts without sacrificing overall diet quality and diversity, and avoiding food-systems approaches that lack the flexibility necessary to address diverse national, cultural, and personal circumstances. Instead of advancing flawed ideology, we will work with coalitions of like-minded countries and stakeholders around priority issues that encourage real progress towards more sustainable food systems and support U.S. dairy producers and exporters.
“The U.S. dairy sector excels at providing the world’s most sustainable milk at the highest level of quality, of which the world will only need more as population grows and nutrition demands increase. As an industry, U.S. dairy’s commitment to sustainability, productivity and nutrition security makes it a case study — not just in the livestock sector, but in all of global agriculture — of continuous improvement for the world’s benefit.
“We offer our continued support for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, for greater food and nutrition security, and all aspects of sustainability in the United States and worldwide. This dialogue will continue, and we are excited to contribute to it alongside robust U.S. leadership.”