Transformed and evolved food systems can help solve some of the world’s toughest problems, from climate change to resilient livelihoods, a new report launched at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 said.
It said those countries are on a better footing to build a stronger economy.
The new WEF report, which presents case studies from seven key countries that show it is worth the risk to drive smart, coordinated investment in food systems, also identifies ‘repeatable models’ for businesses and policy-makers and a roadmap of priorities for countries to improve productivity, sustainability, and nutritional outcomes
According to the report, better livelihoods for a more inclusive set of people, greater nutritional security, and improved health, cause a lower impact on the climate and nature.
The report also offers insights into the actions and investments that can accelerate a country’s transition towards food systems that deliver a stronger economy, better livelihoods for a more inclusive set of people, greater nutritional security and improved health, while causing a lower impact on the climate and nature.
“Transforming food systems provide healthy and nutritious diets and dignified jobs for farmers and producers. This report shows how economic development with environmental protection supports communities in climate adaption and mitigation efforts,” said Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Nature and Climate.
The report gives insight into “repeatable models” from seven “early mover” countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe whose performance has been comparatively strong and whose examples and lessons are widely relevant.
Their stories of transformation identify common, repeatable elements, including the most critical actions and investments for driving change and how they should be coordinated.
According to Maximo Torero Cullen, Chief Economist at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), scaling up climate resilience and strengthening our food environment to promote healthy diets are two key interventions with positive impacts on food security, nature, and health.
“When food fails, everything fails,” added Geraldine Matchett, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Royal DSM, and Co-Chair of the CEO Alliance on Food, Nature, and Health.
Ghana, India, and Viet Nam have been able to evolve their food systems to improve a broader set of outcomes by unlocking the potential of small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly those that are farmer-allied and operating in local food chains.
Countries can also use innovation to improve productivity, sustainability, and nutritional outcomes, as demonstrated in Algeria.
The African country has improved food security in the face of significant constraints on water availability. Viet Nam has sustainably intensified its rice production.
Countries like Canada and New Zealand illustrate how to scale up the adoption of nature-positive and climate-smart food production, particularly focusing on the case for economic advantage for producers.