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İstanbul is discussing its food system: Today’s problems tomorrow’s solutions The second workshop, organized in cooperation with GIZ, TEPAV, and Istanbul Planning Agency, was held in Istanbul on Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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31/05/2022 - Viewed 1056 times



İSTANBUL – Within the scope of the PEP - Promotion of Economic Prospects Programme financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the workshop titled “İstanbul Is Discussing Its Food System: Today’s Problems Tomorrow’s Solutions” was held in İstanbul on Wednesday, May 25, 2022 in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, TEPAV and İstanbul Planning Agency (İPA) to determine what we can do to ensure that İstanbul has a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive food system.

In the workshop organized to negotiate the policies required to strengthen the Istanbul food system by using the "Public-Private Sector Dialogue" as a tool, participants from NGOs, public institutions, the private sector, and academia discussed ideas and solution proposals with live voting.

The workshop started with the opening speech of Ceren Gökçe, GIZ-PEP Public Sector Capacity Building Consultant. Stating that the food crisis on a global scale continues to affect the whole country, Gökçe emphasized that they are looking for solutions for the world as GIZ, and underlined that many food systems should be improved, from resources to inputs and production processes. Gökçe concluded her remarks by stating that the workshop played an important role in ensuring food safety and resilience in the food system, especially in digitalization.

In his opening speech, IPA Secretary General Oktay Kargül emphasized that in our current economy, access to food should not be considered as a sector, but as the center of the entire vital cycle.  Kargül concluded his statements by saying: "With the first workshop held in January, we took a general picture of the Istanbul food system. Today, we will discuss together the problem areas and solution areas in Istanbul's access to food."

In his opening speech, Güven Sak stated that the main problems and solution proposals of the Istanbul food system will be determined by negotiating with the İstanbulites participating in the workshop, and emphasized that the food system has become an acute problem with the Ukrainian war. "We are therefore excited to see how the food system will be handled in a long-term approach in the run-up to 2050 through a reciprocal interaction" Sak said.  After the opening speech, Sak addressed "Today's Problems" in the first session of the workshop and started an interactive session by saying, "Today we will seek answers to many questions together in order to strengthen the food system. Is it possible to strengthen the regional food system? Is it possible to diversify the food supply system? We need to focus on the digital transformation of the food system as soon as possible. So, how is this possible?" Questioning the causes and consequences of the increase in food prices in recent years, Sak conveyed to the participants how consumption patterns have changed through concrete examples. Sak concluded the first session by referring to the need to strengthen social protection networks in the fight against food inflation.

The second session of the workshop continued with Güven Sak's presentation titled "Solutions of the Future". Referring to the importance of producer and consumption cooperatives in the sustainable food system facility, Sak also underlined that in the age of digitalization, cooperatives should be rethought on the axis of digitalization. The session continued with the speech of Sibel Güven from TEPAV titled the importance of accessing the right data for a durable and sustainable food system. Güven, stated that trust, data derivation, compilation, sharing and effective use of this data is one of the most basic needs in the regional food system, short value chain, and field-to-fork digital transformation.

In the last session of the workshop, Güven Sak shared the project ideas developed by TEPAV after the first workshop in order to make the İstanbul food system sustainable, fair, and durable. Project ideas titled community-supported agriculture, producers' markets, food council, and digital factory were presented to the opinions and suggestions of the participants. In addition to these project proposals, the participants shared ideas on the importance of entrepreneurship in the digital transformation of the food system, the need for urban gardens in urban agricultural activity areas, and the necessity of an agricultural production free from pesticides. The workshop ended with the closing and evaluation speeches of Güven Sak and Berkan Özyer from IPA.


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