OnFoods at Cibus for the 2024 World Food Forum: the new challenges for agri-food businesses and supply chains

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Published: May 9, 2024
On 8th May, in Parma, within the prestigious setting of Cibus, the fifth edition of the World Food Forum (WFF) took place, titled “The Challenges of Food Systems’ Sustainability for Businesses and Supply Chains – A Global Approach, from Soil to Human Health”.
This year, the Forum focused on presenting and sharing, with the companies present at Cibus 2024, the objectives and work paths of the three major research and innovation projects, related to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan PNRR, dedicated to the challenges that the Italian agri-food sector will have to face: the National Center for Technology in Agriculture Agritech, the Extended Partnership OnFoods Foundation, and the METROFOOD-IT Research Infrastructure together with the National Agri-food Cluster CL.A.N.

At the heart of the debate was the role of Italy as a global food excellence. The agri-food sector is one of the cornerstones of Made in Italy, and to maintain this leadership role, it is essential to preserve and develop a safe, sustainable, and high-quality food supply chain, increasingly attentive to productive autonomy and food sovereignty. Among the many topics discussed were the impacts on food systems, the current geopolitical situation, and how the ability to overcome these complex challenges is strongly linked to science and technology, with particular attention to investing in young researchers and talents and creating partnerships.

During the conference, important experts from the agri-food and scientific fields, representatives of food companies, and members of national and European institutions intervened.

After the welcome and introduction addresses, which were attended by Franco Mosconi - President of the Parma Fairs, Paolo Martelli - Magnificent Rector of the University of Parma, Cesare Azzali - Director of the Parma Industrial Union, Paolo Mascarino - President of Federalimentare and the National Agri-food Cluster CL.A.N., and Vincenzo Colla - Councilor for Economic Development and Green Economy, Labor, Training, and International Relations, Emilia-Romagna Region; the conference began with a series of presentations, coordinated by Sara Roversi - President of the Future Food Institute.

Among the guests were: Danilo Ercolini - Scientific Director of the National Center for Technology in Agriculture Agritech, Daniele Del Rio - President of the OnFoods Foundation, Claudia Zoani - Coordinator METROFOOD-IT, ENEA - Department of Sustainability, Circularity, and Adaptation to Climate Change of Production and Territorial Systems, and Gianni Galaverna - Coordinator of Food-ER, the Emilia-Romagna Alliance for Education and Innovation in Food Systems, University of Parma.

Daniele Del Rio

Daniele Del Rio - President of the OnFoods Foundation:

"The occasion of this year's World Food Forum at CIBUS is unprecedented because it sees the presentation and discussion together of the 3 initiatives that the PNRR has funded in the field of research on the sustainability of food systems. Just as the title of main event says, the three major PNRR projects focused on food production guarantee us a global approach, from the soil to human health. It is with great pride that Parma leads one of these three initiatives, the Extended Partnership OnFoods, which deals with food from the perspective of sustainability, safety, and their contribution to consumer health, actively participating in the other two as well. This presence is further evidence of the centrality of our city in the context of food production and research in the food sector. Even more important is the fact that these three major initiatives, united today in this World Food Forum, move so well in harmony, complementing and improving each other, with teamwork that will lead us to a great leap in skills and competitiveness at the end of the three-year funding period."

Afterwards, the conference hosted a roundtable discussion with important experts from the scientific, food, and innovation worlds, representatives of food companies, and supply chains. The conclusions were entrusted to Paolo De Castro - Member of the European Parliament, Vice President of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

In the afternoon, the Forum continued with the workshop: "Businesses, PNRR, Sustainability of Food Systems", targeted companies at Cibus to share the vision of partner companies in PNRR projects. The meeting was coordinated by Massimo Iannetta, head of the ENEA Biotechnology and Agro-industry division and Vice President of the Technical-Scientific Committee of the National Agri-food Cluster CL.A.N. Among the participants were: Agrocamera - Barilla - Bolton - Bonifiche Ferraresi - CIRFOOD - De'Longhi - Irritec S.p.A - Malteria Saplo Peroni - La Molisana - Relatech S.p.A.

Daniele Del Rio - OnFoods al World Food Forum 2024, Cibus, Fiere di Parma
Roberto Ciati, direttore delle relazioni scientifiche e istituzionali e vice-presidente Sostenibilità, Barilla
Alberto Dolci, Global Research & Innovation Manager a Bolton Food
Alessandro Benedetti, Senior Innovation Food Engineer

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