Global Face-to-Face Meeting (Rome, 26-29.09.2023) - Outcomes


>> Read the Meeting Report (February 2024) <<

About the Global-AFS-F2F-Meeting 2023 in Rome, Italy (26-29 September 2023): 

Since the last Face-to-Face (F2F) in 2016, the institutional and real-world parameters in which the A&FS Network and the institutions of its members are operating have shifted substantially. The positive trend of hunger reduction has reversed over the last six years, armed conflict is on the rise, and the planetary boundaries and the effects of climate change are becoming ever more tangible. In response, the approach to food security is being sought more than ever from the systemic angle through a food systems approach. Similar developments in adjacent fields have led SDC and other organisations to seek a more joined-up approach to its work by accentuating the need to work with the humanitarian-development-peace nexus in mind and pursuing a more holistic and fluid approach to thematic/sectoral cooperation. But many of the challenges are global in nature and cannot be addressed in isolation from international, multilateral processes and the work and services of the UN agencies. Much of this has already been reflected in SDC’s institutional restructuring, the renaming of the Global Programme Food Security and the A&FS Network to incorporate the notion of food systems, and the accelerated efforts to work on multisectoral approaches. With a lot of groundwork now in progress (Food Systems Learning Journey, review of structural relationships between various networks) the timing is right to involve active network members in what will come next and reinvigorate a sense of community.​


Colleagues from Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mozambique, Haiti, Laos, Cambodia, Tajikistan, Bolivia, Moldova, the United States, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland came together to share and exchange experiences of SDC’s work in Food Systems from around the world. 

With that F2F-Meeting the SDC Agriculture and Food Systems Network aims to:

  1. Develop possible priority food systems transformation pathways which could be pursued jointly in the years to come.
  2. Identify areas of collaboration at different levels (global, regional and national) from the interaction with the Rome-based Agencies.
  3. Discuss how the A&FS Network should work in the future.

Have a look at the outcomes of each day! (see overall programme)

Day 1 - Systems Thinking & Agroeco​logy and Expanding into Markets 

ObjectiveIllustrate the strengths of agroecology as a way to work over a broad spectrum of a food system, particularly at a local scale, and in doing so, have a transformative impact. Review the broad similarities and intricate interlinkages between SDC’s approaches to Market Systems and Food Systems. An overriding question was set around what experiences might offer approaches to reshaping/transforming markets.

Recap of the day - The first day rehearsed recent efforts to propagate systems thinking, applying it to agroecology, and considering its significance in market systems development (MSD). Space was also created for colleagues to showcase their flagship projects and relate them to a food systems approach, being lensed through the two priority themes of agroecology and MSD.


Picture Gallery Day 1 (view in Shareweb)

Picture Gallery Day 1 (view in Flickr)


SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 1 - Intro.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 1 - Agroecology and inclusivity.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 1 - Agroecology and Rights.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 1 - Agroecology and the environment.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 1 - Applying MSD to Food Systems - DAI.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 1 - Cosumers Markets Options Behaviours - SNV.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 1 - Making Markets Work for Rural Poor - IFAD.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 1 - Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN Organisations in Rome.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 1 - Masterslides Day.pdf

Further references:

Resilient Food Systems Framework_LV_NOV2022.pdf

Resilient Food Systems Plenary 2 - Concept Note June 2023.pdf

Day 2 - Youth, Nutrition & Healthy Diets and the Humanitarian-Development Nexus in Food Systems – A Day hosted by FAO and WFP 

ObjectiveInvestigate the dynamics around the promotion of youth in food systems through the lens of multilateral processes, deep-dive into the third priority theme of nutrition and healthy diets and explore the humanitarian-development nexus with a focus on protracted crises whilst understanding the role of RBA’s in food systems. 

Recap of the day - The second day took place on the premises of two of the three UN Rome-based Agencies. Participants were exposed to the centres of FAO and WFP and got a feeling for how these institutions interact with one another at a high level. In doing so, they got a topical understanding for what the RBAs can contribute in terms of conceptual know-how and operational clout, in a way which can be linked to their own operational concerns. The day opened with two preparatory sessions on the UN FS Coordination Hub and youth participation across food systems before re-entering the food systems discussion from the following day through a nutrition perspective. After relocating to WFP, the afternoon was dedicated to the question of the Humanitarian-Development Nexus and how it could be (but is currently not sufficient) linked to food systems approaches.​


Picture Gallery Day 2 (view in Shareweb)

Picture Gallery Day 2 (view in Flickr)


SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 2 - The role of UNFS Coordination Hub and National Pathways.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 2 -Promoting Youth Participation across Food Systems.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 2 -Nutrition and Healthy Diets.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 2- Humanitarian Development Nexus FAO.pdf

SDC AFS F2F 2023 - Day 2- Humanitarian Development Nexus WFP.pdf

Day 3 - Consolidating Sessions 

Objective - Consolidate the sessions of the previous days towards positive food systems outcomes, review of the network as well as of the workshop and next steps.

Recap of the day - Back to the workshop venue, the third day focussed on making sense of the many inputs and discussions of the previous two days. The morning was used to consolidate the information, in a first session focussing on gender and youth as important cross-cutting topics, and in a second, undertaking a more sweeping summation of key findings and linkages between the various sessions. In the afternoon, the group turned to the question of what the A+FS Network should make of food systems, and what kind of topics the community might focus on going forward. A high number of ideas were put forward, and the focal point team will be concentrating on consolidating the many excellent suggestions in the weeks ahead. 

Pictures, Flipcharts & Evaluation / Ideas

Picture Gallery Day 3 (vie​w in Shareweb)

Picture Gallery Day 3 (view in Flickr)

Flipcharts & pinboards

Evaluation & Ideas (mentimeter results)

Day 4 - Field Visit & Final Goodbyes 

Objective - Field Visit and discover the world of Italian food. 

Recap of the day - On this fourth and final day, the participants of the “optional excursion” again braved the busy Roman traffic to pay an early-morning visit the urban market of Testaccio, where they tasted a few Italian specialities, and learned about how the food is sourced and who frequents the different types of markets in the city. An interesting bit of trivia revealed that the Testaccio market was built on the site of an ancient Roman market, thereby linking it to a food tradition harking back 2000 years. After that, following the food trail back, the group headed out to the organic cooperative farm Agricoltura Nuova beyond the southern outskirts of Rome. Here they toured the farm with an Italian farmer, studied the production and processing capacities of the cooperative, and compared notes on the challenges of farming in Italy and elsewhere. They also learned how the cooperative markets their products to consumers, be that locally or nationally. After a hearty lunch, the group headed back to town to go their separate ways, be that by train or plane.

Picture Gallery​ (view in Shareweb)

Picture Gallery (view in Flickr)