Minnesota Food and Ag Leaders Team Up For World Food Day
Courtesy of Global Minnesota

Minnesota Food and Ag Leaders Team Up For World Food Day

The 2020 conference will put a spotlight on the local food and ag industry's commitment to addressing global challenges.

On the heels of the United Nations World Food Programme winning the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Friday, some of Minnesota’s largest food manufacturers and nonprofit organizations will come together this week to address challenges facing the food and agriculture sectors as part of Global Minnesota’s World Food Day 2020 Conference.

“The future of food is being created here,” said Mark Ritchie, president of Global Minnesota, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing “international understanding and engagement” by bringing local perspective to global issues such as food insecurity. Global Minnesota typically marks World Food Day with a live event; Ritchie said this year’s virtual format to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Global Food Day is actually elevating the program by bringing together key leaders from around the world, including World Food Programme executive director David Beasley and Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, founder and director of the United Nations Development Solutions Network. Conference topics will include hunger relief, regenerative agriculture and sustainable development, food security, and the impacts of climate change.

“The goal,” Ritchie said, “is to deepen our collective determination to defeat hunger.”

The day-long online World Food Day conference on Friday, Oct. 16, which is open to the public, will feature conversations with General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening, Target’s president of food and beverage Stephanie Lundquist, as well as executives from Cargill and Ecolab. They’ll use the event to launch a new initiative that leverages Minnesota food and ag leadership in addressing global challenges.

“Minnesota has always celebrated food and ag,” Ritchie said. “We want to make sure Minnesota is recognized as a center of excellence in these industries going forward.”

Watch for more announcements throughout the week and in conjunction with World Food Day, a free exhibit that traces Minnesota’s long history of providing global food relief opens Monday at Mall of America. The exhibit, called “When Minnesota Fed the Children of Europe” is free and will remain open through the end of October.