Since 2002, the Forum on Mediterranean Food Cultures, CIHEAM-Bari, Las Palmas University of Gran Canarias, La Sapienza University of Rome, and ICAF (International Commission of the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition), have developed a continuous collaboration on the Mediterranean diet as a resource of sustainable development for Mediterranean countries.
In 2005, in Rome, “The Call of Rome for a Common Action on Food in the Mediterranean” was issued on the occasion of the third Euro-Med Forum “Dialogues between Cultures and Civilizations of the Mediterranean on Food Security”, jointly organized by the Forum on Mediterranean Food Cultures and the Sapienza University of Rome, in collaboration with CIHEAM-Bari, ICAF, and the support of the regions of Sicily and Calabria.
In 2009, in Parma, at the 3rd International Conference “The Mediterranean Diet Today: A Model of Sustainable Diet”, jointly organized by CIISCAM (Interuniversity International Centre of Studies on Mediterranean Food Cultures), in collaboration with the Mediterranean Food Cultures Forum, CIHEAM-Bari, Bioversity International, and the technical support of FAO, the Mediterranean diet pyramid was revised in the light not only of its well-known health benefits, but also of its other sustainable benefits for the environment, the economy of the territories, and its social and cultural values.
As follow up, in 2010, at FAO in Rome, the Scientific Symposium “Biodiversity and Sustainable Diets: United Against Hunger” was organized by FAO and Biodiversity International, with the collaboration of INRAN, CIHEAM-Bari, FENS, IUNS, in which a common position was reached on the definition of “sustainable diets”.
In 2011, FAO and CIHEAM identified the Mediterranean diet as a sustainable diet case study for the characterization and evaluation of the sustainability of food consumption and diets in the Mediterranean region. In 2012, in Malta, on the occasion of the 9th Meeting of Agriculture Ministers of the CIHEAM member countries, the Ministerial Declaration highlighted the role of the Mediterranean diet as a “driver” for sustainable food systems within the Regional development strategies.
In 2015, at the EXPO of Milan, “The Med Diet EXPO Milan 2015 Call: Time to Act“ was issued by CIHEAM on the occasion of the International Conference “Does the Mediterranean Diet Still Exist? Nutrition-Health-Quality-Sustainability-Innovation-Evolution”, jointly organized by CIHEAM-Bari, CNR, CREA, ENEA and Forum on Mediterranean Food Cultures and endorsed by 81 institutions.
Always, in 2015, at the EXPO of Milan, the Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFSP) of the United Nations 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP), now called “One Planet” was established, with FAO and CIHEAM part of its governance. The 10YFP was adopted at the 2012 Rio+20 Conference, as a global framework of action to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production, in both developed and developing countries. In 2016, in Milan, the First World Conference of the Mediterranean Diet on “Revitalizing the Mediterranean Diet from a Healthy Dietary Pattern to a Healthy Mediterranean Sustainable Lifestyle”, was organized by IFMeD (International Foundation of Mediterranean Diet), in collaboration with CIHEAM-Bari and FENS (Federation of European Nutrition Societies), and the FAO technical collaboration for the CIHEAM side event “From Production to Consumption: The Mediterranean Diet as a Lever in the Mediterranean, within the Framework of the SDGs”.
On this occasion, “The Call for Action on the Revitalization of the Mediterranean Diet” was issued and endorsed by 37 scientific societies, research institutes and national and international organizations.
In 2017, in Bari, the FAO/CIHEAM International Workshop “Development of Voluntary Guidelines for the Sustainability of the Mediterranean Diet in the Mediterranean Region” was organised at CIHEAM-Bari in the context of the One Planet Sustainable Food Programme Systems of the United Nations (SFSP), with the participation of several Mediterranean members of the SFSP: Hebrew University, Al Quds University, ENEA, UNESCO Chair Universidad Oberta de Catalunya, IFMeD, CIISCAM, HHF, CREA (formerly CRA-NUT), University of AIX-Marseille/Inserm/INRA, FQH, American University of Beirut, Chouaib Doukkali University, CNR. One objective of this workshop was to finalize a proposal for the development of a One Planet SFSP Mediterranean Multistakeholder Platform on Sustainable Food Systems. The implementation of the 10YFP is inscribed as target 12.1 into the SDG 12 on Sustainable Production and Consumption of the 2030 Agenda.