On 22 June 2022, experts from various disciplines exchanged views on the transformation of the food system towards a more plant-based diet. More than 400 interested participants attended the event, which is part of the National Dialogue on Sustainable Food Systems in the context of the UN Food Systems Summit.
In her keynote, Stephanie Wunder (Ecologic Institute) presented previous strategic approaches to food policy and instruments to promote plant-based diets at UN, EU, federal and state level and derived lessons learned for the process of developing a nationwide food strategy. She emphasised that "the enormous importance of a more plant-based diet has been recognised by science and politics, but has not yet been sufficiently backed up by concrete measures". It is important to integrate other food policy issues into the discussion and to bring all relevant actors to the table, for example civil society associations and people affected by food poverty. All relevant ministries must be involved at an early stage, and support must be given at the highest political level.
In this context, Stephanie Wunder and Julia Jägle (Ecologic Institute) have prepared a strategy document on "Food Policy Strategies to Promote Plant-Based Diets in Germany", which is available for download (in German). The publication summarises results of the National Dialogue in June 2021, analyses existing political strategies to promote a plant-based diet at the federal level, takes a close look at the food strategies of various federal states, neighbouring European countries and similar processes (Commission on the Future of Agriculture, etc.), identifies fields of political action and the toolbox for promoting plant-based diets, and finally derives lessons learned for the process design of a National Food Strategy for Germany.
Guests were: Medical nutritionist Prof. Dr. Martin Smollich representing the Nutrition Coalition, Dr. Nina Wolff from Slow Food Germany for the initiative "Ernährungswende anpacken jetzt!", filmmaker and food activist Valentin Thurn ("Taste the Waste"), Anna-Lena Klapp from ProVeg e. V., the sociologist Dr. Hanna Augustin (City of Bremen), Prof. Dr. Nina Langen from the Technical University of Berlin, Dr. Philipp Stierand for the "Kantine Zukunft Berlin" and Carola Sandkühler, who was involved in the development of the Lower Saxony food strategy for the Lower Saxony Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection.
The event was organised and moderated by the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE), represented by Dr Hanns-Christoph Eiden, President of the BLE and Head of the National Dialogue on Food Systems, Silvia Bender, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and Dr Margareta Büning-Fesel, Head of the Federal Centre for Nutrition (BZfE) at the BLE.
Impulses from the dialogue and further background information are also available on the platform's dialogue board of the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE).