Racing to Safeguard Agrobiodiversity

The Food Forever Initiative is an awareness-raising campaign to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Target 2.5, which calls on the global community to safeguard the diversity of our foods. The Food Forever Experience is a series that gives a glimpse of the future of food, planting the seed for a more diverse, nutritious and sustainable future.

In 2018, Ashley Walsh, Founder & President of Pocono Organics attended the inaugural Food Forever Experience in New York City. She walked away inspired and the next morning asked the Food Forever team if Pocono Organics could host in the future. On Friday, September 25th, 2020 the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal “Global Day of Action,” Food Forever in partnership with Pocono Organics, Rodale Institute, and the Crop Trust hosted a digital experience presented by Patagonia Provisions.

The Food Forever Experience Pocono was the first of its kind. The historic experience was designed to raise awareness of the importance of crop diversity and its connection to healthy soils and resilient, sustainable agricultural systems.

Over 1,500 chefs, media, seed savers, educators, policy makers, and consumers tuned in to hear over 15 global leaders discuss thematic discussions all with one mission in mind — racing to safeguard agrobiodiversity.

Leaders like Dan Barber, Zach Bush, Pierre Thiam, Danielle Nierenberg and more shared what the future of food could look like and taste like if we conserve and truly utilize the amazing diversity of our foods.

Viewers joined the “race” by tuning in to different topics at each turn:

  • Conservation & the Role of Genebanks
  • From Seed Bank to Farm to Table
  • Agrobiodiversity as a Driver for Competitiveness of Business & Development

We are in a moment, right now, where we need to demand a more resilient and just system for the future.

Dan Barber, Chef & Co-Owner of Blue Hill Restaurants, Co-Founder of Row 7 Seeds

The UN states that we have less than 60 years of farmable soil left and on average are losing 40 soccer fields per minute.

And yet, by 2050 we’ll have 9 billion people to feed. The time is now to act. It is crucial to rethink the global food system and tackle issues such as climate change and COVID-19 in order to proactively take a stance in safeguarding agrobiodiversity.

Action was a word used again and again throughout the day and not simply because it was the UN’s “Global Day of Action” rather as Ashley Walsh, the Founder & President of Pocono Organics’ pointed out we can all be a part of the solution, people need to be doers.

 

And don't forget that you can change the world.

Ashley Walsh, Founder & President of Pocono Organics

The Food Forever Experience Pocono showcased those that are deep-rooted in this work such as Rodale Institute. Rodale’s CEO Jeff Moyer was joined by Tom Newmark, Founder & Chair of the Carbon Underground.

The two discussed Rodale’s newest white paper, “Regenerative Agriculture and the Soil Carbon Solution” which analyzes the most recent science in carbon farming to assess regenerative agriculture’s potential to mitigate the climate crisis.

The Food Forever Digital Experience can be viewed here.