Transition steps for food system transformation
By Niamh Kelly, Policy Research Officer for the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems
As part of its ongoing work with the UN Food Systems Summit, the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition has produced a brief for the Scientific Group, ‘The Transition Steps Needed to Transform Our Food Systems’. This short paper draws on the Panel’s Foresight report ‘Future Food Systems: For people, our planet and prosperity’ to outline the essential steps needed to transition to healthier, more sustainable food systems.
The policies that fed the world in the twentieth century are no longer fit for purpose. Food systems are failing to provide healthy diets for 3 billion people, and they are in a spiral of decline with the natural environment. Change is imperative, and policymakers in every country will need to chart a way forward contingent to their own circumstances and constraints. However, the complexity of food systems present a challenge in the early stages of the transition process.
This brief seeks to guide policymakers through this transition and discusses the priorities and principles to inform choices; addressing tradeoffs and compromises; and the challenge of resourcing the transition. It considers how actions could be incentivised and supported, and addresses impediments to change. Finally, the brief sets out key priorities for different classes of stakeholder across the food system. All of these have important roles to play: international organisations, governments, donors, civil society and companies working within the food system.
This is the second of two papers produced by the Global Panel for the Scientific Group. The first paper, ‘COVID-19 and Food Systems: Rebuilding for Resilience’ was featured recently.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the United Nations Food Systems Summit.