The Food System

At the Harmony in Food and Farming conference, Gunhild Stordalen of the Eat Forum, noted that food production is the single biggest driver of climate change, deforestation, biodiversity loss and the depletion of our ecosystem and its resources.

One third of everything we produce is either lost or wasted. When we talk about sustainability, she states, we cannot forget the 1 billion people working to produce and serve food every day, including the world’s poorest and most vulnerable – the 500 million smallholder farmers. Nor can we ignore other beings. As the demand for cheap meat grows, so too does the prevalence of intensive livestock production at the expense of animal health and welfare. All of these food related challenges are set to get worse.

With 2 billion more mouths to feed in the coming decades and increasing numbers of affluent people in the world, the FAO estimates that we need to produce an extra 50% more food. The “business and usual” approach cannot achieve the Paris agreement or the UN Sustainable Development Goals – most of which concern food and farming. On the other hand, “getting it right” on food, could be the greatest opportunity to improve our health and wellbeing, whilst at the same time, protecting the planet. Knowledge alone is not enough, unless we can translate this into action. We need more innovation, not only in technology, but in our business models. The EAT Foundation helps to turn these many scattered change makers into an efficient, comprehensive movement.

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