FOOD 2030. PATHWAYS FOR ACTION. Research and innovation policy as a driver for sustainable, healthy and inclusive food systems

Policies, strategies, debates | 2023-06-19 | Nunzia Cito

The global food system is facing a range of challenges from malnutrition, climate change, resource scarcity, biodiversity loss, soil degradation, a growing and ageing population, urbanisation, food waste and food poverty. COVID-19 has shown the pivotal importance of functioning food supply chains and the need to further increase their resilience to emergencies and crises like pandemics, climate change and geopolitical forces. To address these challenges, a food system transformation is required which shifts towards more sustainable and healthy diets and aims to ensure food and nutrition security for all. This requires a better understanding of the interactions between the different components of the current food systems to maximise co-benefits, and to accelerate such a system-wide transformation.

The European Commission (EC) is now leading the way to future-proof our food systems for sustainability, health and inclusion. Through its Farm to Fork strategy and its broader European Green Deal policy it commits to ambitious food systems objectives that will be decisive in ensuring a just and fair transition that respects planetary boundaries. These important policy advances also align with the recommendations set out in the EC strategic advice mechanism opinion towards a sustainable food system, which highlights the need for food to be considered as a common good and not just as a trading commodity, and that ‘business as usual’ is not a viable option as it will eventually endanger our natural resources, our health, the climate and the economy. (Source: “Introduction – Fixing our Food Systems”).

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