On November 22, 2022, Iceland’s first-ever Food Congress (Matvælaþing in Icelandic) was held in Harpa Conference Hall in Reykjavík. It was hosted by the newly formed Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and intended to bring together various stakeholders and professions working in food production, processing, and distribution as well as food-related innovation, entrepreneurship, research, and governance in Iceland. The goal was to present the newly drafted first Food Policy for Iceland to the public, engage a wide audience in discussion and receive feedback from a wide range of stakeholders. Special guests of the congress were Pete Ritchie, executive director of Nourish Scotland, who presented the vision of the Scottish Government for agriculture and Olga Trofimtseva, a Ukrainian politician and agriculture expert, who discussed the challenges to the global agrifood sector from the perspective of the currently war-torn Ukraine.
The food congress was well attended with diverse speaker panels, including the Director-General of Iceland’s National Energy Authority, the former Chief Epidemiologist, and the Minister of Food. The Cities 2030 partners at Matís Laura Malinauskaitė and Katrín Hulda Gunnarsdóttir participated in the event, participating in discussions, drawing attention to the role of city-regional food systems in the Icelandic food system transformation and providing feedback on the policy draft from the viewpoint of view of these systems. More information on this interactive event and the on-going development of the Icelandic Food Policy to the year 2030 can be found on the Government of Iceland website