Online event

The true cost of food – from shifting markets to informing policy

Date: Thursday, March 24, 2022    Time: 10:30 - 12:00 CET

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True Cost Accounting (TCA) is a tool that can reveal the externalities related to food production and consumption, and serve as a basis to internalize these impacts (both positive and negative), and foster the most sustainable behaviours and practices.

The “hidden costs” of global food systems are estimated to be US$19.8 trillion annually with $12 trillion from health costs. These costs stem from diet-related chronic diseases, impacts of climate change, and unfair wages. Often, these costs are borne by the least advantaged segments of society (e.g., smallholder farmers, youth, women, Indigenous Peoples, people of colour, marginalized communities). By applying the right incentives, these costs can be mitigated to ensure that food systems create real value for society. This session will discuss how food system approaches, particularly True Cost Accounting, can provide holistic assessments of the negative externalities and positive benefits of different interventions, thus elucidating evidence that leads to the improvement of food system strategies and policies.



Eberhard Brandes
CEO, WWF-Germany
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Susanne Breuer
Officer for Latin America / Energy and Food, MISEREOR
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Salman Hussain
Head, The Economics of Nature Unit, UNEP
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Robert Konrad
Adviser for Natural Capital, DG Environment, European Commission
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Amelie Michalke
Research Assistant, Sustainability Science and Applied Geography, University of Greifswald, Germany
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Eberhard Brandes, CEO, WWF-Germany

As the CEO of WWF-Germany, Eberhard Brandes is very passionate about protecting the planet, nature, and especially big mammals. He is highly interested in the complexity of ecosystems and behavioural science, and he stands for WWF’s mission to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
Eberhard studied Economics and Organisational Studies in Hamburg. Prior to joining WWF in 2006, he held several executive management positions in the life science sector. In 2001, he was awarded the renowned BAUM environmental prize and was honoured with the City of Hamburg’s Innovation Award for his cradle-to-cradle concept of portable medical technical equipment. Over the years, he has been appointed to numerous climate and sustainability advisory councils.
Susanne Breuer, Officer for Latin America / Energy and Food, MISEREOR

Born in 1967 in Aachen, Germany, Susanne Breuer studied Regional Studies - Latin America and Economics at the Free University of Berlin, with a focus on international cooperation. She spent a year in Colombia and has been working with MISEREOR since July 2005. From 2020 to 2021, she had an assignment with the Federal Foreign Office in the Religion and Foreign Policy unit, focused on peace construction. Since November 2021, she has been back with MISEREOR, supporting advocacy work connected to Latin America and to global food challenges.

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Website – www.misereor.de
Salman Hussain, Head, The Economics of Nature Unit, UNEP

Dr. Salman Hussain is an environmental economist who joined UNEP in 2014, having previously been a researcher in ecological economics. He is Unit Head for The Economics of Nature Unit in Ecosystems Division in UNEP, and he is the TEEB Coordinator. TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) is a UNEP-hosted initiative that aims to recognize, demonstrate and capture the values of nature. Salman initiated the launch of TEEBAgriFood in 2015. UNEP is currently applying the TEEBAgriFood Evaluation Framework in over a dozen countries.

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Website – www.teebweb.org
Robert Konrad, Adviser for Natural Capital, DG Environment, European Commission

Robert Konrad joined the European Commission Delegation in Bratislava in 1998. Since 2010, he has been working for DG Environment as Head of Unit for Communication and, later on, Compliance & Better Regulation. Currently, he is Advisor for Natural Capital.
Amelie Michalke, Research Assistant, Sustainability Science and Applied Geography, University of Greifswald, Germany

Amelie Michalke is a research assistant at the University of Greifswald and works in the project “HoMaBiLe - How much is the dish?”, which deals with externalities of agricultural production. Amelie graduated from the University of Augsburg as a Master of Science in 2019 with a degree in industrial engineering. She has since become an expert in the field of true (ecological and social) prices in the context of food production.

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Website – www.homabile.de


Alexander Müller
Managing Director, TMG – Think Tank for Sustainability
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Tanja Ploetz
Senior Advisor Sustainable Food Systems, WWF-Germany
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Martine van Weelden
Senior Manager, Capitals Coalition
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Alexander Müller, Managing Director, TMG – Think Tank for Sustainability

Alexander Müller is a former FAO Assistant Director-General (2006-2013), and State Secretary for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture, Germany (2001 -2005). He has vast experience in global sustainability governance, as inter alia: Chair of the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition; member of the UN Environmental Management Group; and Lead, Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Land, and TEEBAgriFood.

More information
Website – www.tmg-thinktank.com
Tanja Ploetz, Senior Advisor Sustainable Food Systems, WWF-Germany

Tanja Ploetz is part of WWF Germany’s Agriculture and Land Use team, she works internationally on food system transformation and oversees a programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Global South. Prior to working for WWF, Tanja was engaged in Sino-German development cooperation, working on environmental awareness raising in China, and she lived in China for several years. Tanja has been with WWF for over 11 years now, she loves most of all engaging with people, teams and cultures all over the world and sharing a common vision for a sustainable (food) future.

More information
Website – www.wwf-scp.org
Twitter – @TanjaPloetz
Martine van Weelden, Senior Manager, Capitals Coalition

Martine van Weelden is a Senior Manager at the Capitals Coalition and leads on the TEEBAgriFood for Business project. She is responsible for the successful application of capitals thinking in the business sector within the scope of the TEEBAgriFood project. She has over 15 years of experience in the field of sustainability, ecosystem services and natural capital driving change and building strong networks.

Prior to her appointment at the Capitals Coalition, Martine worked for the Ecosystem Services Partnership (ESP). She chairs the ESP Sectoral Working Group Ecosystem Services in Business. Martine holds a masters degree in cultural anthropology. She is passionate about building partnerships with people from various backgrounds to support societal transformation that includes natural, social and human capital.

More information
Website – www.capitalscoalition.org

Agenda


Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 10:30 - 12:00 CET


10:30 Tanja Ploetz, WWF-Germany, welcome and moderation of the event.

10:35 Why is it important to draw a clear picture of the externalities in the food system?
- Eberhard Brandes, CEO WWF-Germany

10:45 How much is the dish? A research project
- Amelie Michalke, Research Assistant, Sustainability Science and Applied Geography, University of Greifswald, Germany

11:00 True Cost Accounting and Dietary Patterns: The Opportunity for Coherent Food System Policy
- Alexander Müller, Managing Director, TMG – Think Tank for Sustainability

11:15 Social aspects of TCA from a global south perspective
- Susanne Breuer, Officer for Latin America / Energy and Food, MISEREOR



11:30 Panel discussion
Moderated by Tanja Ploetz

- Martine van Weelden, Senior Manager, Capitals Coalition
- Salman Hussain, Head, The Economics of Nature Unit, UNEP
- Robert Konrad, Adviser for Natural Capital, DG Environment, European Commission, DG Environment, European Commission



11:55 Closing remarks



12:00 Finish


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