Voluntary Negotiated Agreements as a tool in the Norwegian Food System

Utviklingsministerens replikk (digitalt) på «Ministerial roundtable – transforming food systems for achieving the sustainable development goals: Rising to the challenge», formøtet til FNs toppmøte om matsystemer.

(The Minister had to cut his remarks at the
Ministerial-roundtable short. Below is his full remark.)

Honourable ministers, ladies and gentlemen,

The clock is ticking – and we have work to do if we are to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030.

But – I am very inspired by what I have heard today.

I will bring back all your excellent examples of national food systems transformation to my colleagues in the Norwegian government.

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Norway hosted a food systems dialogue in June.

The discussions among the 90 participants were good – and there was broad consensus on the main issues.

We are now reviewing our next steps in the dialogue process.

In Norway – we have a tradition for collaboration and dialogue between all food systems stakeholders which is quite unique.

The authorities, the farmers, the industry – and research institutions.

This has materialised into agreements between government and stakeholders which are voluntarily negotiated.

We believe such agreements can be important tools for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2017, five ministries and twelve food industry organizations signed a binding agreement to cut food waste across the food value chain by 50 percent – by 2030.

More than 100 companies in the food sector have endorsed it.

We also have an agreement which sets targets for reduction of GHG emissions and increased uptake from agriculture between 2021 and 2030.

Responsibility for reductions is shared between the government and the farmers’ organisations.

We also have cross-sectorial collaboration within the government.

Our action plan for sustainable food systems in our foreign and development cooperation was signed by seven ministers in 2019.

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As minister of international development, I would add that eliminating extreme poverty also demands from us that we reach out to the most vulnerable.

We have to turn recipients of aid into participants.  

Especially young people have the potential to be the change agents we need on board if our goals are to be reached.

Finally, if the moderator allows, I now invite the president of the Norwegian Sami Parliament to provide a short remark from our indigenous communities.