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Dassu’: Women and Food Security

The 2015 EXPO theme “Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life” is evocative of the role of women, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Marta Dassù, speaking at the opening of the conference “Women for Expo, Latin America” at the foreign ministry in Rome. For the first time the EXPO will not be aimed solely at exhibiting something, said Dassù, as it has been in the past, but will aim to take a concrete “step forward” – a step toward truly nourishing the planet.

“Agricultural production is greater but food gets lost along the way”

In preparation for the EXPO, the conference is divided into two panels: Food Security and Food Safety. The first concerns actual access to food, which UN S-G Ban Ki-moon has defined as a human right. “Agricultural production has grown in comparison with the demographic curve”, the deputy minister underscored, “but food gets lost along the way”.

In Milan we will be discussing a series of themes associated with the phenomenon of waste, such as women’s access to credit and land. It is they who “have a major role in the farming sector” of developing countries, “but who often lack access to the tools that allow them to set up businesses”. The second panel on Food Safety concerns the quality of food and nutritional practices, and the new diseases that are found to be emerging in association with a variety of nutrition-related factors.

From poor food preservation to over-use

Concerns ranging from the poor preservation of food to its over-use have led to the adoption of various labelling systems indicating the provenance and risks associated with the consumption of products. These systems, however, “have a commercial and economic impact at international level”, Dassù concluded “but it is necessary to come up with new, common standards”.