Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden attended the EAT Stockholm Food Forum yesterday where she gave a speech focused on the importance of sustainable marine practices and fisheries under the theme ‘food can fix it’.
The Crown Princess opened her speech with an evocative metaphor:
“Imagine a giant blue refrigerator. Imagine it offering you a rich supply of fresh, healthy, high quality food. Then imagine yourself emptying its shelves, all at once, and instead filling it with garbage, plastic litter and toxic waste.
“A strange image, isn’t it? But after all – that is exactly how we are treating our ocean.
“Now, the refrigerator is breaking down. Coral bleaching. Dead sea beds. Fish and mammals with their bellies full of plastic. All the warning lights are flashing red. We know where to find a new refrigerator. But where do we go to find a new ocean?”
Crown Princess Victoria continued by speaking of the facts of the world’s growing population and the resultant growth in demand for food and fresh water. The problem is that the planet’s resources are limited and seafood production is in decline as we head towards the possibility that by 2050 the ocean may well contain more plastic than fish.
Victoria then spoke about the SeaBOS initiative, which she called “a project close to my heart.” The idea behind SeaBOS is to ensure business leaders and scientists are in dialogue with one another about the future of the global seafood industry. Less than six months after the initiative began, the nine largest seafood companies have “signed a statement for collaboration, outlining their concern about the current and future state of the ocean” and “are working together, leading a global transformation towards sustainable seafood production and a healthy ocean.”
The Crown Princess finished her speech with a rousing call to action:
“The leaders of the global seafood industry are acting as role models. They now have the possibility of becoming true leaders of change. Not only within their own industry but also for other sectors that rely on our planets resources and ecosystems.
“Now it is up to the rest of us to respond. If we want our seafood to be healthy – if we want it to be produced in a sustainable and just manner –then we need to ask for precisely that. At the supermarket, at the restaurant, at the little sushi shop on the corner… Consumer demand is a powerful driver of change – and a friendly question can be a very efficient tool.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we all know better. Now, it is time to do better.”
This is the second year that Victoria has spoken at the forum.
The two-day EAT Stockholm Food Forum brought together 83 speakers and 530 delegates from the fields of science, politics and business in 46 countries around the world. Attendees sat in on lectures, panel discussions and conversations about the connections between food, sustainability and health.
Formed four years ago by the Great Valley Foundation and the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the EAT Foundation is working to change the global food system to ensure that the world’s growing population can be fed with healthy food from a healthy planet.