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Consumers International and members attend FAO regional symposium in Latin America

11 September 2017

In the second week of September, Consumers International attended the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ (FAO) regional symposium on sustainable food systems for healthy eating, hosted in El Salvador.

The event brought together Consumers International members, FAO staff and close to 150 private sector, governmental and civil society organisations from across the region.

During the event, stakeholders discussed some of the most pressing issues facing Latin American food systems, from adequate access to healthy food to the negative impacts of unhealthy diets, and the need to support sustainable production and consumption.

A running theme was that consumer input and engagement is vital to all of these challenges, and any programmes to improve the region’s food systems must have consumers at their heart.

Food systems that work for consumers

Earlier in the week, we also attended a regional meeting for our Latin American and Caribbean members. Examples were shared of the huge successes achieved by our members in this area, with a view to collaborate and support each other, and feed into FAO’s regional policy work. There was consensus that more must be done to reduce the consumption of processed/ ultra-processed foods.

Our members’ work was later discussed and promoted at the FAO Symposium, attracting great interest and support. Consumer rights, and the role of consumer organisations in developing and driving effective public policy to support healthy diets and sustainable food systems, became a central topic for working group and panel discussions.

It was clear from participants of all sectors and countries that stronger public policy is required to ensure the production and consumption of healthy, sustainable food in Latin America and the Caribbean. The role of consumer organisations was underlined as vital to this.  

Members will now be using the information disseminated at the event to inform their food-related campaign and advocacy work at a national level.

Promoting healthy diets worldwide has been an important part of our campaign work with members in recent years. Find out more about our previous work on food labelling and helping consumers to make clear, informed and healthier choices.