Knowledge for better food systems

First report from IPES-Food: Who shapes food systems, and who has a say in how they are reformed?

This report was produced by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, IPES-Food -a new transdisciplinary initiative to support, inform and advise the policy debate on how to reform food systems across the world.

The report, entitled The New Science of Sustainable Food Systems: Overcoming Barriers to Food Systems Reform, makes the case for reaching beyond the traditional bounds of the scientific community.

“We need to look at food systems through a new lens,” said the co-chairs of IPES-Food: Olivier De Schutter, former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, and ex-UNICEF nutrition expert Olivia Yambi. “This lens must be wide enough to consider questions like impacts on health and nutrition, environmental degradation and small-scale farmers’ livelihoods simultaneously, as the component parts of wider systemic problems.”

In the report IPES-Food also set out its vision to work with other initiatives to unify food governance spaces, to promote a holistic food systems analysis, and to seek leverage points for change across food systems.

Read more and download the full report and executive summary here.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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