A diverse group of stakeholders, concerned about advancing global food security and ensuring that veterinarians are more broadly engaged in food security programs, gathered last month for an international summit meeting hosted by the AVMA in Washington, D.C.
About 115 people, veterinarians and others, attended the February 9-11 summit meeting, representing governmental and non-governmental organizations, funding institutions, academia, and clinical veterinary medicine. The meeting explored the role of animal-source foods in enhancing global food security, and how improved animal health and well-being contribute to a more secure, sustainable, safe and nutritious food supply.
Speakers ranged from a geographer who is the Canada Research Chair in Global Food Security, to a British agriculture economist working on the economic cost of livestock disease and a human nutritionist working on providing quality nutrients from locally produced animal-source foods to mitigate early childhood malnutrition. Funders and managers of global food security programs also were among the presenters.
“The summit demonstrated that people working or interested in enhancing food security at the national and international levels can commit to work together on issues that affect everyone. It was a beginning, not the end, of our efforts,” said Dr. Tom Meyer, AVMA president. “This gathering of like-minded experts will help the AVMA identify methods to better integrate veterinary expertise into current and future global food security programs as part of our work to protect, promote and advance veterinarians and veterinary medicine.”
“This gathering of like-minded experts will help the AVMA identify methods to better integrate veterinary expertise into current and future global food security programs as part of our work to protect, promote and advance veterinarians and veterinary medicine.”
–Dr. Tom Meyer, AVMA President
Attendees provided valuable input that will be incorporated into a report with recommendations for possible follow-up actions. The report will be presented first to the AVMA Committee on International Veterinary Affairs and then forwarded to the AVMA Board of Directors later this year.
Continued collaboration and partnering among AVMA member veterinarians and professionals in other sectors vital to food security will be essential to ensure the energy felt at the end of the summit carries through to enhancements in food security worldwide. Potential roles for the AVMA in facilitating this continued collaboration and advancing food security will be detailed in the report and will be consistent with the association’s commitment to One Health.
Special thanks to premier partners Merck Animal Health and Land O’ Lakes, Inc. and supporter Elanco for their financial support of the summit.