The 27th WorldFood Istanbul Fair, the international meeting point of the food industry, was held on 4-7 September 2019, at TÜYAP Fair and Congress Center. Mehmet Duman, UCLG-MEWA Secretary General, delivered a speech in the Panel on “Tips from Masters – Taste the Future!” organized within the context of this Fair.

Addressing the participants in the session moderated by Gürkan Boztepe, President of Culinary Travel Society, Secretary General Duman underscored the link between food and sustainability of development. He noted that food-related diseases and deaths have reached a critical level, while the world is experiencing hunger on one side and obesity on the other. He further underlined that affamishment and malnutrition represent an obstacle to achieving sustainable development.

Within this context, while stating that hunger and malnutrition lead people to live in an environment where they can produce less, easily become sick, therefore earn less and cannot increase their livelihood, Duman pointed out that the lack of access to food is in direct proportion to waste in rich and developed countries. Duman further revealed the severity of the situation in figures.

Noting that nearly 800 million people, mostly living in developing countries, go to bed hungry every day, Secretary General Duman emphasized that this number is expected to be added by 2 billion people by 2050. Adding that “Today, more than 90 million children under five are at a critical level, below their required body weight. On the other hand, one in four people in Africa suffers from hunger”, Secretary General Duman emphasized the importance of the role of local governments to develop sustainable solutions to these challenges.

The session, where Prof. Dr. Ahmet Bülend Göksel, Rector of Cyprus Science University; Umut Karakuş, Chef; and Umut Özkanca, CEO of d.ream were also among panelists, ended with the Q&A.

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