Sweden

Equality key to improved health and sustainability

Published June 2, 2015

In his talk at the 2015 EAT Food Forum, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven pointed out equality as a driving force for development and innovative societies.

“If we want to improve health and sustainability, we must perform better on equality because this is as economically smart as it is morally right.”

Löfven highlighted how the world`s middle class is growing and extreme poverty has been reduced by half.

But then came the bad news: Wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. The world`s richest 80 people own assets worth as much as the 3.5 billion poorest people. A similar trend can be seen in Sweden where the health gap continues to widen, due to social and economic inequality.

Closing this gap is the key, said the prime minister. He explained how the Swedish government is committed to eliminating the health gap within a generation. Secondly the prime minister promised to present a new Swedish food strategy which will cover the entire food chain, from primary production all the way to the consumer.

He stated that Sweden have the resources for sustainable food production, the know-how and the high level awareness.

“Our aim is to increase food production and make the rural areas in Sweden more viable. The challenges we face at a national level are mirrored globally in several ways. In all countries food production contributes to climate change and environmental damage. So initiatives for better health and food security must be taken both nationally and globally. Cooperation between science, policy civic society and business will lead the way, not only for decision making, but for the new solutions of innovations, and more sustainable food production,” he said.

He concluded that these issues will be brought to the United Nations Summit in September and to the climate change negotiations in Paris in December 2015.

“In 2015 we have the momentum for new commitments. Development should include everyone. It should be sustainable, because we owe that to future generations.”