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UVM and Vermont Law School Present 4th Annual Food Systems Summit June 16-17

International, national, and local food movement leaders will join with farmers, scientists, philanthropists, business leaders, and students to examine pathways and challenges to food security at the UVM Food Systems Summit June 16-17.

Facing questions that cross boundaries between law, policy, science, technology, and agriculture, UVM is partnering with Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems to host the fourth annual summit. The theme of the Summit is The Right to Food: Power, Policy and Politics in the 21st century. An estimated 300 people are expected to attend.

Globally and in Vermont, the stakes are profound. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, one in nine people worldwide are chronically hungry. Meanwhile, 13 percent of Vermont households are food insecure.

The challenge of “feeding the world” is complicated by income inequality, environmental constraints, technological limitations, climate change and a growing world population. This multi-dimensional challenge calls for interdisciplinary responses.

“We know food security and food system sustainability are complex problems, and we need a variety of voices at the table. As leading academic institutions in the study of food systems, UVM and Vermont Law School are proud to be providing a space for these conversations,” said Doug Lantagne, director of the UVM Food Systems Initiative. “At the Summit, food systems researchers, practitioners, farmers, food businesses, and engaged community members will explore the actions we can take at local, national, and international levels to ensure that all people have access to adequate and nutritious food.”

During the two-day conference, sessions will address the following themes: the biophysical constraints to feed the population, the impact of geopolitical context on our food system, and the implications of behavior and culture. The summit is open to the public.

Three keynote speakers – Raj Patel, Claire Kremen, and Smita Narula -- will each provide a one-hour talk, as well as participate in a panel discussion at the end of the summit.

In addition, panel discussions with international, national, and regional experts will feature research and examples of how the right to food is playing out in a globalized food system.

Panelists include scholars and leaders from a variety of organizations and institutions, including the Vermont Farm to Plate Network, Vermont Youth Conservation Corps, Food for Farmers, Syracuse University, the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, CATIE Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center in Costa Rica, the University of Idaho College of Law, and the University of South Carolina. All sessions will include time for Q&A and engaged dialogue with the audience.

The UVM Food Systems Summit will be held at the UVM Davis Center. For more information and to register, visit