Kellogg Company hosts food security event during U.N. General Assembly/Climate Week in NYC

Facing new evidence from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UNFAO) that world hunger continues to rise, Kellogg Company, SDG2 Advocacy Hub and Food Reform for Sustainability and Health (FReSH) hosted a timely conversation on Transforming Food Systems to Drive Solutions for Achieving SDG2-Zero Hunger. The event inspired a disruptive dialogue among seven leading leading experts and up-and-coming innovators on the critical need for global, cross-sector collaboration to achieve U.N. Sustainable Development Goal #2 – Zero Hunger (SDG2) by the 2030 target.

“As a leading global food company, Kellogg is using our size and reach to drive transformational change in addressing the worldwide issue of food security,” said Kellogg Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steve Cahillane, who opened the event. “We know that no single company, government agency or organization can achieve the ambitious and essential SDGs alone, which is why we are excited to bring together this group of leaders and innovators who are driving needed change in our global food system for people and the planet.”

The event, held in Kellogg’s NYC Cafe, was moderated by international journalist Femi Oke.The first panel included leading global experts Gerda Verburg, Coordinator, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and U.N. Assistant Secretary-General; William Warshauer, CEO, TechnoServe; Jose Pedro Ferrão, International President, United Way; and Pierre Thiam, Co-Founder of Yolélé Foods and Chef and Co-Founder, Teranga Restaurant, in NYC.

The UNFAO has recognized the immediate need for “accelerated, scaled-up and multi-year partnerships to address increasing food security concernsi.” Together, this panel of leaders agreed that change simply cannot happen if communities and organizations address this issue in silos.

“There is not a one-sector solution,” said United Way International President, Jose Pedro Ferrão. “It’s a real struggle and we need to be honest about that. Each sector needs to be comfortable working together and ensure that everyone is adding the right value at the right point in time.”

Gerda Verburg, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Coordinator and United Nation’s Assistant Secretary-General, further stated that organizations need to make the business case for corporate social responsibility to make a real impact. And that transformation can start from the ground up. 

“It is crucial that everyone in this room thinks about how they can change their daily behavior to contribute toward to the goal of eradicating hunger,” said Verburg. “You can lead from where you are, but we need to be ready to step out of our comfort zones to make it happen.”

The second panel − also moderated by Oke − featured entrepreneurs and innovators across sectors who are leading creative initiatives to address the escalating global challenges of malnutrition and sustainability, including Anahita Dhondy, Chef Partner of SodaBottleOpenerWala, Cyber Hub, Delhi, India; Jane Ko, Director, Global Category Innovation, Kellogg Company; and Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO of FEED.

During this discussion, Oke asked the panelists their perspectives on what is needed to effectively achieve zero hunger. They agreed that there is a need to continue to elevate the issue, demonstrate how people can get involved and challenge the current system.

“We are not making the traction we should be both globally and locally,” said Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO of FEED. “We need to make the SDG’s real for people so that they can see first-hand how they can make a difference.”

“Creating change is about being relentless and rallying around the cause,” added Kellogg Company Global Innovation Director, Jane Ko. “It comes down to belief and conviction on the issue and demonstrating how change can result in the greater good for society.”

Addressing sustainability and social impact are fundamental to Kellogg’s Deploy for Growth strategy. Convening this group of leading voices further underscores the company’s commitment to help drive impactful solutions for achieving zero hunger. Through its global signature purpose platform, Breakfasts for Better Days™, Kellogg is addressing the critical issue of food security worldwide by feeding people in need and nurturing our planet. In 2017, Kellogg expanded feeding and nutrition education programs to reach 586,772 children, donated 570 million meals to people in need and supported nearly 300,000 farmers around the world.

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