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.