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COVID-19 impacts on food security

17 August 2021

Ensuring the APEC region has a consistent supply of food is one of the biggest challenges facing APEC economies, and the rest of the world.  This issue will be front and centre at the Food Security Ministerial Meeting on 19 August.

APEC Food Security Ministers will meet virtually to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on food security and how APEC economies can work together to build an APEC food system that is open, sustainable and resilient, and contributes to regional economic growth.

The goal is to build cohesion amongst APEC economies to drive a regional approach to food security, where APEC has a particular comparative advantage.  At the FSMM, Ministers will launch the Food Security Roadmap Towards 2030. This has been developed during APEC 2021 to help set a workplan for APEC economies, including by working with the private sector.

Fora such as APEC are critical for unlocking the full potential of the Asia-Pacific in a well-functioning global food system.  This is particularly important in the face of challenges presented by COVID-19, and other long-term issues.  These include climate change, growing populations, water security, food loss and waste, and the need to reduce the environmental impacts from production.

An important part of achieving food security success is harnessing innovation and digitisation. APEC Ministers are expected to agree a Food Security Digital Plan that includes helping food producers to connect with markets, boosting climate-smart farming, and reducing food wastage by streamlining supply chains.

By working together, we can ensure the people in the Asia-Pacific region have access to sufficient, safe, affordable, and nutritious food both now, and in the future.