IUFoST is one of 31 unions in the International Council for Science (ICSU). IUFoST was elected by its peers across disciplines to be the sole global representative of Food Science and Technology in ICSU.
ICSU Overview, Mission and Vision
The International Council for Science (ICSU) is a non-governmental organisation with a global membership of national scientific bodies (122 Members, representing 142 countries) and International Scientific Unions (31 Members).
ICSU’s mission is to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. To do this, ICSU mobilizes the knowledge and resources of the international science community to:
- Identify and address major issues of importance to science and society.
- Facilitate interaction amongst scientists across all disciplines and from all countries.
- Promote the participation of all scientists—regardless of race, citizenship, language, political stance, or gender—in the international scientific endeavour.
- Provide independent, authoritative advice to stimulate constructive dialogue between the scientific community and governments, civil society, and the private sector.
The long-term strategic vision is for a world where science is used for the benefit of all, excellence in science is valued and scientific knowledge is effectively linked to policy making.
IUFoST and ICSU
IUFoST has had a long commitment to featuring the importance and leadership of ICSU to its global membership. At each of the last eight IUFoST world congresses, ICSU has been invited to address the global audience and an ICSU symposium has been organised as evidence of IUFoST’s commitment to advancing science and promote inter-disciplinary cooperation consistent with one of ICSU’s guiding principles to strengthen international science for the benefit of society.
IUFoST Report to ICSU
The many efforts to combat Food Insecurity and Food Safety in the past by the international community have been focused mainly on increasing the agricultural output, reduction of post harvest and processing losses have so far not received the necessary attention. World hunger, food security and food safety issues can, however, not be solved without food scientists and technologists. Governmental and international bodies working to improve conditions nationally and globally need the help of food scientists to reduce losses, utilize waste and so far underutilized resources, improve nutrition and secure enough food for all. To ignore the importance of this scientific discipline is to reduce the effectiveness of current and prospective programmes for food, health and wellness, food safety and food security.
IUFoST is emphasizing this position where ever possible in international conferences, at meetings with other Scientific Unions, with representatives of governments and international organizations. Following its mission statements:
- IUFoST has initiated International Food Safety Forums requested by and under the auspices of the Chinese Government Ministry of Health and Media/Scientist sessions
- IUFoST has been requested by the Global Food Safety Initiative of the World Bank Secretariat to lead undergraduate and graduate food safety curricula global standardisation
- IUFoST has initiated Leadership and Industry summits to bring together leaders from various disciplines to further food safety and food security
- IUFoST has initiated Education and training through the world congresses, symposia worldwide, educational textbooks, proceedings
- IUFoST has developed a project for the reduction of Aflatoxin loads in peanuts in five African Countries at the request of CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research)
For the future, IUFoST will continue its work in the promotion of the safety and quality of all foods including through field training programs especially in Africa; continue to focus on reduction of physical and nutritional losses in the food value chain by the application of new processing techniques ; to adapt and improve traditional foods and processes, while respecting the traditional, ethical, cultural and religious aspects involved by initiating young scientists programs; through the beneficial application of Food Science and Food Technology; through the development and dissemination of improved knowledge of food composition; through the facilitation of domestic and international food trade and through the development of new food materials and food materials with improved functionality.
IUFoST will continue to explore ways to improve food security, food safety and improve education. To facilitate this work, IUFoST is forming alliances and working closely with UN agencies, other professional societies and unions, and NGOs.
Policy Directions of ICSU – Future Earth, Report Prepared by Past President Professor Dr. Ing. dr. h.c. Walter Spiess in conjunction wtih Dr Pingfan Rao, Past President; IUFoST Representatives to ICSU 2015
“Future Earth is a new 10-year international research initiative that will develop the knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and for supporting transformation towards global sustainability in the coming decades. Future Earth will mobilize thousands of scientists while strengthening partnerships with policy-makers and other stakeholders to provide sustainability options and solutions in the wake of Rio+20.” (Quote from ICSU Website)
The concept is to deliver:
- Solution-orientated research for sustainability, linking environmental change and development challenges to satisfy human needs for food, water, energy, health;
- Effective interdisciplinary collaboration across natural and social sciences, humanities, economics, and technology development, to find the best scientific solutions to multi-faceted problems;
- Timely information for policy-makers by generating the knowledge that will support existing and new global and regional integrated assessments;
- Participation of policy-makers, funders, academics, business and industry, and other sectors of civil society in co-designing and co-producing research agendas and knowledge;
- Increased capacity building in science, technology and innovation, especially in developing countries and engagement of a new generation of scientists.
Future Earth is at its core a ‘federation’ of projects and other initiatives related to Global Environmental Change, the research is divided into three broad research themes
- Dynamic Planet
- Global Development
- Transformations towards Sustainability.Dynamic Planet: How is the planet changing due to human activity and natural phenomena? What are the environmental and societal trends, drivers and processes affecting change and how do they interact? What are the global thresholds and risks surrounding these trends?
Global Development: How can we address humanity’s most pressing needs including fair and sustainable stewardship of food, water, biodiversity, energy and other materials that make life viable and valued?
Transformations towards Sustainability: What are the options and opportunities for change towards sustainability? How do they relate to human values, emerging technologies and economic development pathways? How should the global environment be governed and managed sustainably?
All three broad research themes imply directly or indirectly topics related to Food Science and Technology, the theme “Global Development” focuses -besides other topics- with its research program “ CCAFS — Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security” directly on food related problems. The programme is lead by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) a member of the CGIAR Consortium. In these and other areas, IUFoST is working closely with other Bio-Unions in ICSU.
In these, and all its activities, IUFoST subscribes to the principles of ICSU that promote participation by all bona fide scientists without regard to race, religion, political philosophy, ethnic origin, citizenship, language or sex.