There is an Urgent Need to Transform the World’s Food Systems: José Luis Chicoma


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There is an Urgent Need to Transform the World’s Food Systems: José Luis Chicoma


One of the objectives of the 2018 T20 Summit, hosted in Argentina, was to propose public policies on food systems. 

José Luis Chicoma, Executive Director of Ethos, participated in the Think 20 (T20) Summit, where he presented proposals to position public policies focused on improving global food systems.

As a participant of the session “The G20 and the New World Order,” Mr. Chicoma gave a talk titled “The Major and Urgent Transformations Needed to Rethink our Food Systems,” which analyzed the problems in the current food systems and their relationship to sustainable development.

During his talk, Mr. Chicoma stated, “Our food systems are broken, and we need to drastically overhaul them. They pollute our planet, damage our bodies, and are unfair for the more than 1.8 billion workers within the food production chains.”

Mr. Chicoma also focused on the issue of agricultural production destined for human consumption versus crops that are used to create biofuels or feed beef cattle, and touched on agriculture’s role in 80% of global deforestation.

Mr. Chicoma said that large industries are generally responsible for this food production crisis: “The concentration of the food production chain in a few transnational companies increases the price of seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers and puts farmers in survival mode.” 

Mr. Chicoma proposed reviewing mechanisms to decrease the power of these industries and establishing regulations for their products.

He also spoke about processed food and junk food exports, highlighting the case of Mexico, where almost 100,000 people die each year due to complications from diabetes. Considering this context, Mr. Chicoma proposed much stricter regulations for this type of food, mentioning the case of Chile and noting that that country’s recent legislation to label processed foods was a wise and necessary measure to inform consumers about what they eat.  

The Argentine Council for International Relations (CARI) and the Centro de Políticas Públicas para la Equidad y el Crecimiento (CIPPEC) organized the 2018 T20 Summit, and the event was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 17 and 18. The meeting gathered together leaders from the world’s leading think tanks, as well as government authorities, representatives from international organizations, and members of the business community from 68 countries. A document with 20 public policy proposals was generated as an output of the event. This document was delivered to Argentine President Mauricio Macri and will be presented to the G20 members during their end-of-year meeting.