Sustainable food system

A systems-thinking exercise on the sustainability of the future global food system.

This project is running in cooperation with the European Commission Directorate General for Development and Cooperation (DG DEVCO)

Why

Implementing and monitoring the inter-connected Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The current SDG agenda offers a perfect opportunity for the EU to act as catalysts for setting in motion a shift towards food systems’ sustainability. This entails acknowledging the systemic nature of sustainable development, and in particular, the interconnected nature of the 17 SDGs. The objective of this project is to understand the systemic nature of the global food system, how its various parts are interconnected, and where policy can intervene in order to move towards a more sustainable food system. It supports the Commission’s role in implementing and monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals

What

A tool to map food systems, its interactions, and identify where to intervene

Through a combination of foresight and systems-thinking, the project aims to map the key variables in the global food system, understand the stakeholders involved at all levels of the food value chain, and analyse how the various parts of the food system interact with each other. In so doing, the project will identify where in the food system policy can play a role in moving towards a more sustainable system, what kind of interventions are necessary and what trade-offs exist in moving towards sustainability.

How

Co-design, system-mapping and leverage point analysis

Through a process of co-design with the concerned Commission services, and through a series of workshops and expert consultations, the EU Policy Lab aims to:

  • build, with relevant Commission services and external experts, a map of the global food system and its key interactions
  • analyse the future trends that will impact the sustainability of the food system through megatrend analysis
  • identify the leverage points for sustainability or key areas for intervention in the food system, and what the role for policy is
  • test and adapt the approach to food systems in local and regional contexts, through regional workshops and more specific trend analyses
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