This year the theme for the United Nations-inspired event is 'Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition'.
October 16th was first designated World Food Day in 1981, the date chosen to honor the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. This year's theme is particularly appropriate for Yara's areas of focus, and with the Creating Impact strategy of combining business goals and tackling major global challenges.
"The food crisis of 2007-2008 set off both action and debate, and within a few years sparked a range of significant initiatives like Grow Africa and Scaling Up Nutrition," notes Sean De Cleene, Yara Senior VP Global Initiatives, Strategy & Business Development. "Now the question is - as these varying initiatives go to scale, how can they become more aligned in order to achieve the necessary step change we need to see happen to eradicate food insecurity globally?"
World Food Day typically highlights agriculture, education and health, and implementing change in these areas through the participation of the private sector. This approach echoes Yara's longstanding commitments to an African Green Revolution, and projects like the Agricultural Growth Corridors, where public-private partnerships develop growth along entire, geographic value chain.
The 2013 Yara Prize for an African Green Revolution had a focus on helping youth, and World Food Day this year stressed the relationship between good nutrition, and opportunities for the young, linking healthy food systems with education and beneficial social policies.
"Inclusive agricultural growth is THE opportunity - growth in this sector has the strongest impact on the rural poor," argues Yara President and CEO Jørgen Ole Haslestad.
"I believe that the next major trend will be an alignment between the various platforms and initiatives that have sprung up," he continues. "We must find ways to draw synergies from these projects, and create comprehensive approaches, to mobilize the necessary atmosphere and investment need for job creation."
"Additional to food and nutritional security, a growing agricultural sector means, as well as creation of jobs and opportunities, a ripple effect of related opportunities as supporting infrastructure is developed," Haslestad says.