On Thursday, June 17, the Director of the WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger and WFP Representative in Brazil, Daniel Balaban, participated in the opening panel of the National ESG Supply Chain Forum, organized by the Brazilian Supermarkets Association (ABRAS). The event brought together authorities and leaders from the sectors that make up the national supply chain to build solutions for the sector’s main strategic, market, institutional and regulatory challenges. Also on Thursday, Daniel Balaban participated in the 4th day of the #ConverseComOutrasIdeias festival, organized by Globonews, which was themed around food and nutritional insecurity in Brazil.
The opening panel at the ABRAS event addressed the dimension and importance of the national supply chain for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially SDG2, which aims for zero hunger and sustainable agriculture. In his speech, Daniel Balaban detailed WFP’s work on the ground, providing food assistance during emergencies. He then spoke about the importance of expanding the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) area in companies, but warned about the need to make this practice intrinsic to brands. “It’s no use creating a social responsibility department within companies and allocating a small budget to it. ESG has to be embedded within all sectors and be present at all times, until the end consumer is able to look at the brand and say ‘this company represents me, this company operates in a way that I consider fair’”, he said.
Daniel Balaban also talked about the importance of working together and interdependently in facing the challenges of a post-pandemic world. “In order for us to build a different world, we need to think about provocative, visionary and disruptive solutions. Either we join this change, or we will be left behind”, he added. Regarding Brazil, the Director also talked about the need to build public policies that strengthen food systems, especially by encouraging family farming. Other guests at the opening panel included Rodolfo Nardez, President of the UN Global Compact in Brazil; Tereza Cristina, Agriculture, Livestock and Supply Minister; Paulo Guedes, Economy Minister; Augusto Pestana, President of APEX Brasil; and João Roma, Citizenship Minister. You can watch the event in full here.
In the #ConverseComOutrasIdeias event, organized by Globonews, Daniel Balaban talked about the high number of people facing hunger in the world and also in Brazil. “According to recent surveys, Brazil has almost 20 million people in severe food insecurity or hunger, even though it is one of the largest food producers in the world,” he said. “It is a difficult situation, but there is a solution”, he added. The Director argued that the first step in a process of change is indignation, which will naturally lead to a search for knowledge and discussions on the subject. “We have to be able to include the majority of the population in the economy, so that everyone has a decent job, or can run a business, so that they have dignity and freedom to consume what they need. And that’s where public policies come in,” said Daniel Balaban.
The other two guests were Kalyne Lima, national vice-president of CUFA; and Rita Lobo, TV presenter and founder of Panelinha. Journalist Aline Midlej moderated the discussion and the recording is available here.