LONDON, UK (25th January, 2018) – His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will host a reception for “forgotten foods” to help raise awareness of the importance of crop diversity and the need to safeguard it.
The event, Food Forever – Actions for a Resilient Food System, will take place at Clarence House, The Prince’s official London residence, on Tuesday 30th January. It will be held in conjunction with the Crop Trust.
“The Prince of Wales, our Global Patron, has long-championed the importance of crop diversity and the need for sustainable farming,” said Marie Haga, Executive Director of the Crop Trust. “We deeply appreciate The Prince’s steadfast commitment and support to what we do.”
“Conserving the countless varieties of food crops is an insurance policy for humankind,” continues Haga. “Crop diversity is the raw material that scientists need and use to adapt our crops to new and unforeseen challenges.”
Guests at the luncheon will include President of the Republic of Mauritius, Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib Fakim; UK Secretary of State for Food and Rural Affairs Michael Gove; UAE Minister of Climate change and Environment; and celebrity farmer Adam Henson. Executives from the food and financial sectors together with NGO representatives will also be in attendance.
They will enjoy a specially prepared menu, which will include heirloom tomatoes, and apple crumble made from different types of apples from orchards at the Prince’s Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to not just celebrate crop diversity, but to raise awareness of the fact that these underused and overlooked foods can play a key role in adapting agriculture to climate change and providing more sustainable and nutritious diets,” said Her Excellency, Ameenah Gurib Fakim.
“The coming together of people from such a broad range of disciplines demonstrates that more and more people are taking stock of the importance of crop diversity and sustainability farming,” she continued. “It will help us to spread the message that if we don’t take care of crop diversity, crop diversity can’t take care of us.”
Crop diversity is the range of plants used in agriculture. Modern farming typically focuses on a small number of these to produce food for the world. Crop diversity includes many so-called “forgotten foods” that are in danger of being lost, despite the fact they could help agriculture adapt to climate change and provide more sustainable and nutritious diets for a growing world population.
Target 2.5 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals calls for action by 2020 to conserve and share crop diversity to help future-proof agriculture.
Getting Together for the Future of Food
Following the reception, guests will attend a special discussion hosted by the Crop Trust as part of the Food Forever initiative, at the UK headquarters of financial services company Deutsche Asset Management. There, they will get a chance to dive deeper into the issues affecting global food systems and the role food diversity can play in sustainable agriculture and more nutritious diets.
“The world is becoming increasing aware of the need to rethink and rebuild our food systems to ensure they provide everyone with enough nutritious food, without ruining the environment,” said Stordalen. “These kinds of discussions are what will help us make the transformation to the food systems of the future.”
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The Crop Trust is the only international organisation devoted solely to ensuring the conservation and availability of crop diversity worldwide. The Crop Trust’s Global Patron is The Prince of Wales. The Crop Trust is working to build and fund a global system to guarantee the conservation and availability of the genetic diversity of all major agricultural food crops in seed banks, thus unleashing their potential and promoting their use, forever. The Crop Trust:
- allocates funds to support genebanks through the Crop Diversity Endowment Fund.
- is working on a long-term effort to collect, conserve and use the diversity of crop wild relatives for climate change adaptation.
- together with the Government of Norway and NordGen, manages and funds the ongoing work of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a safe and secure back-up facility in the Arctic that conserves 860,000 samples of crop diversity from all over the world.
- coordinates the Genebank Platform, a partnership with CGIAR which supports 11 international genebanks conserving and making available over 700,000 samples of crop diversity.
- spearheaded the largest biological rescue operation of its kind, saving nearly 80,000 crop varieties through collaboration with more than 100 institutions in more than 80 countries.
- is an essential element of the funding strategy of the United Nation’s International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA), an agreement that brings together 144 countries.
Learn more about the Crop Trust: https://vimeo.com/116843898
Food Forever is a global alliance to raise awareness of the importance of the food diversity – both crops and livestock – that underpins our food systems. It aims to provide a platform for a range of organizations and institutions whose work can help contribute to achieving Target 2.5 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to conserve food diversity. Food Forever is an initiative of the Crop Trust, and funded by the governments of The Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and Germany. Food Forever is chaired by Her Excellency Ameenah Gurib Fakim, President of the Republic of Mauritius.