The CSM Food Systems and Nutrition Working Group was reactivated in 2015 with the aim of drafting and consolidating CSM’s positions, vision and inputs into the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition (VGFSyN).

For 5 years, CSM has been actively participating in the preparations and negotiations on the VGFSyN. The Working Group had high expectations for the outcome and considered the development of these guidelines as a crucial contributions towards the transformation of the current dominant food systems. The need to address the combined ecological, climate, justice, sanitary, nutritional and hunger crises is more urgent than ever. In February 2021, the CFS Plenary Session adopted the Guidelines following an intense and controversial policy negotiation process.

After a collective and thorough internal assessment, the CSM, not with easiness, expressed its disappointment and disheartenment vis-à-vis the outcomes and the deviation of this policy convergence process from its initial ambition. In their final version, the Guidelines fail to meet the ambition, mandate and aspirations that this process should have had, if the interest of rights-holders and the planet had been placed before the logic of profit and markets. They are far from CSM’s expectations and priorities and could even undermine progress achieved so far.

Despite having been negotiated in the midst of a health and planetary crisis, they fail to give guidance for the transformation of food systems that is needed to address this crisis on top of pre-existing ones, and which negatively affect the lives of so many while benefiting only a few.

This Working Group has concluded its main work but will continue monitoring the use and application of the Guidelines.

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Updates and Events

The Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism for relation with the CFS  kindly invites to a Virtual Public Briefing:  “Priorities and Key Messages to the upcoming CFS Negotiations  on Agroecological and other Innovative Approaches” Thursday,  25 March, 13:15-14:15h CET
Speech by Shalmali Guttal | 10 February | CSM Policy Briefing Good afternoon everyone. My name is Shalmali Guttal and I am joining you from India. My organisation, Focus on the Global South, is a participating organisation in the Civil Society and Indigenous Peoples’ Mechanism—the CSM. We are also in the CSM Liaison Group on the UN Food Systems Summit. I will share with you our key messages r...
During the 3rd and final round of negotiations of the Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition (VGFSyN), the representative of the United States proposed the following addition to the text: “Treaties in the list below are only relevant for the parties to each respective treaty; other documents listed are not legally binding and reference to them shall not be interpreted as a sign of...
Since the onset of the negotiations of the CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition, CSM has been highly committed and made many substantial contributions to bring in the priorities of its constituencies. CSM also  repeatedly expressed its concerns about an increasingly problematic way in which the process was conducted since April 2020, and the lack of ...
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