Food Security Summit 2023

Event details

  • Venue: Constitution Hill, 11 Kotze Street, Johannesburg
  • Date and time: Friday 3 November 2023, 10:00 – 15:45


FairPlay is convening a Food Security Summit to examine solutions and pave the way for a sustainable and food-secure future for all.

It is designed to tackle the urgent issue of a fragile food supply chain that threatens food security and to forge a collective path towards a resilient future.

We are inviting leaders from government, agriculture, food producers, retailers, business organisations and labour unions to come together to examine the threats to the food supply chain and to food security, and to agree on the actions needed.

It will be a solutions-based event, focusing on what needs to be done, now and in the medium and longer terms.

By convening experts and decision-makers from various sectors, we aim to ignite innovative solutions, explore best practices, and address the vulnerabilities that compromise our food security because of weaknesses in the food supply chain.

Together, we will chart a course to safeguard the availability, access, and stability of food supply, ensuring the wellbeing of our population and the prosperity of our nation.

Why food security?

While South Africa is still food secure as a nation, at the household level there is widespread hunger.

Nearly a fifth of all households experience hunger and nearly 7 million South Africans do not have enough food.

More than a quarter of South African children are affected by stunting, which is caused by malnutrition. Stunting affects these people physically, and usually also mentally, for the rest of their lives. More than half a million households with children aged five years or younger reported experiencing hunger in 2021.

No statistics are yet available for 2023, but rising unemployment and soaring food prices will mean that more people cannot afford adequate food for themselves and their families, even when food is available.

The danger signs are flashing bright red. South Africa could stumble into a hunger pandemic because multiple parts of its food supply chain are fragile and under stress. From farmers to food processors to retailers, key participants in the food chain are warning of looming food insecurity and a heightened risk of social instability.

This is a national problem, and urgent national action is required. South Africa must avoid food supply chain fragility becoming a food security crisis.

Summit themes

Food Production

  • How might local food production be increased, supported and incentivised?
  • Issues here range from agricultural training and land availability to supporting small-scale farmers, minimising the impact of load shedding, fixing infrastructure, removing VAT from feed and removing the barriers faced by food processors and retailers.

Food Availability

  • How can food be made available to all South Africans?
  • Once food is produced, it needs to be available to all, without delays and wastage. Issues here include alliances between small- scale farmers and informal markets, securing and strengthening supply chains and reducing wastage.

Food Affordability

  • How can all South Africans gain access to affordable food?
  • This is South Africa’s food security crisis. Where food is available, millions of South Africans cannot afford it. We need to look at promoting equitable access with specific reference to the most vulnerable. This will include feeding schemes and initiatives to reduce hunger and malnutrition, strategies to reduce food costs, and enabling poor households to buy more by expanding the VAT-free basket.

Food System Stability

  • How can we ensure that our food system can withstand shocks and provide consistent access to food over time?
  • South Africa’s food supply chain is efficient, but recent shocks have shown that it is fragile and vulnerable. We need to look at how to address the vulnerabilities, ways to ensure food price and market stability, and how to prevent unfair competition.

Join us at the summit

Are you interested in attending the Food Security Summit?

FairPlay is making a limited number of public invitations available to interested stakeholders. Please send an email with your details to to request your invite.