Why to Create a Robust and Resilient Food System?
I believe that the COVID-19 has globally underlined the crucial importance of the robust and resilient food system establishment. We must consider our health, ecosystem services, supply chains, human consumption patterns and effects of the greenhouse gases on the climate change through higher temperatures, droughts, greater crop water demands, more variable rainfall, extreme weathers, floods, forest fires, animal and plant pathogens and diseases, marine mycotoxins and biotoxins and new pests.
We must also ensure food safety and traceability through reducing dependency on pesticides, antimicrobials and excess fertilisation. So that we can ensure food security and people’s welfare through increasing organic farming, improving animal welfare, reducing food loss and waste, reversing biodiversity loss, increasing number of trees and forests, decreasing greenhouse gases, building human capacity, achieving digital transformation and increasing food analysis capacities.
I believe that we must develop new streams of funding and eco-schemes that include the above goals to adopt more sustainable practices to create a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system for us.
I am proud to define that as an KE, we have successfully established Çaymer (Rize Tea Research and Application Center) in Rize, Turkey to create productivity, competitiveness, internationalization, and sustainability in Turkish Tea Industry. European Union and Turkish Government funded Çaymer and provided 10 million Euro to establish Çaymer. Turkish tea is free from pesticides and chemicals, and it is the only tea that snow falls on in the winter season. Therefore, its taste and aroma is very rich.