World Food Day 16th October 2021, History and Significance
Why Food Day is celebrated across the globe
World Food Day 2021
On the occasion of World food day, Our actions are our future.” This was decided with the suffering of millions during the pandemic in mind. This year’s focus is on celebrating food heroes and individuals who have helped build a sustainable world where no one needs to be hungry. The idea is that we can all be food heroes and contribute to the idea of building a world free of hunger. FAO also emphasizes the work of food heroes around the world working on the same side.
World Food Day 2021: History and Significance
World Food Day, originally commemorating the day FAO was founded in 1979, has gradually become a way to raise awareness of hunger, malnutrition, sustainability and food production. The UN Secretary-General will host the first Food Systems Summit in September 2021. The FAO website highlights some shocking statistics on food and hunger, as well as the agricultural food system.
The FAO aims to raise levels of nutrition across the globe, improve agricultural productivity at all levels, enhance the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy. It also provides assistance to countries changing their agricultural policy, to aid regions out of famine situations, to help implement appropriate technology and facilitate a neutral environment to discuss issues around food production.
At the FAO’s 20th session in Rome, Italy, in November 1979 the conference called for the observance of World Food Day on October 16, 1981, and on the same date each year. The UN General Assembly ratified this decision on December 5, 1980, and urged governments and international, national and local organizations to contribute to observing World Food Day. World Food Day has been held each year since 1981.
The FAO’s symbol consists of a circle. Inside the circle is a graphical image of an ear of wheat and the letters F, A and O. The FAO’s motto “fiat panis” (let there be bread) appears under the ear of wheat. The first version of this design was a badge distributed to delegates at an FAO conference in Copenhagen in 1946. The current version was registered with the United International Bureaux for the Protection of Intellectual Property on July 1, 1964, and has been used widely since about 1977.
A World Food Day official symbol consists of three abstract human figures harvesting, distributing and sharing food. The figures are depicted in a bluish-grey color and the food in an orange shade. This draws attention to the food. The whole image aims to bring attention to the necessity and joy of growing, harvesting and distributing food.
- Almost 40% of the world’s population cannot afford a healthy diet.
- Two million people are obese or overweight due to a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle.
- The world’s food system accounts for more than 33% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
- 14% of the world’s food is lost due to inadequate harvesting, handling, storage and transportation, and 17% is wasted at the consumer level.
The world’s agricultural food system employs more than a billion people, more than any other sector.