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IFPA brings produce sustainability delegation to COP28

The International Fresh Produce Association sustainability experts are on the ground this week for the United Nations' climate change conference, COP28 in the United Arab Emirates. The conference, in its 28th year, brings together world leaders and governments, business and non-profit leaders, and academic experts to find concrete sustainability solutions.

“COP28 is the place for global decision makers to discuss issues that impact sustainability and climate change,” said IFPA Chief Science Officer Max Teplitski. “IFPA is at COP28 this year to represent that global fresh produce and floral industry because, as one of the most affected industries, it’s critical that we’re present and engaged in creating solutions that are workable and ensure that we can continue to feed nutritious, fresh products to our growing world.”  

The IFPA delegation includes Teplitski and IFPA Director of Sustainability Tamara Muruetagoiena. Between the two of them, they bring almost a half century of experience in sustainability and climate change. The team combines deep experience in ecosystem functioning and services, industry adoption of climate-smart production practices, advancing regulation and legislation on climate and sustainability.  

It is not news to the produce and floral industries that our industry is not only greatly affected by climate change but also that we are critical and innovative partners in creating sustainable food systems for the world’s consumers. Still, this year, leaders from 134 countries, including the U.S., have signed a declaration to integrate food systems into the climate plans by 2025. This is the first time that food will be a part of the world’s climate plans.   

“While I’m thrilled to see that food will be incorporated in the world’s plans by 2025, it is important for our industry to be present here at COP28 to ensure that the solutions proposed to feed a growing world consider the realities of growing and distributing safe, nutritious and sustainably produced food,” said Muruetagoiena. “Our message is that our industry is a critical part of the solution to climate change through the consumption of fruits and vegetables. The only way we can have a sustainable food system is by supporting climate-smart agriculture and carbon farming.”

IFPA will report out on the learnings and actions to come from COP28 on it social channels and website. Teplitski and Muruetagoiena have a full agenda in the coming days that includes the Agri-Food Systems Summit Dec. 8 and Food, Agriculture & Water Day events in the Blue Zone Dec. 10.

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