A Sustainable Food System for the European Union

Reports, scientific publications | 2023-06-01 | Nunzia Cito

Sustainability and food security are amongst the greatest challenges facing the world today. The evidence confirms the view that radical system-wide change is required, with ‘business as usual’ no longer a viable option. Insofar as evidence allows, this Report attempts to identify workable paths towards a more socially just and sustainable food system, adopting a social science perspective to ask ‘What works and why?’. Evidence is taken from peer-reviewed scientific papers, as well as reports from international organisations, government agencies, and other relevant advisory bodies, maintaining a clear division between academic research and policymaking. Expert judgement has been used to identify the highest quality and most reliable evidence available from the social sciences.

Adopting a systems-based approach helps recognise synergies and trade-offs, moving beyond linear ‘farm-to-fork’ approaches, to more circular, inclusive systems. The approach also seeks connections across the food system, including waste reduction and stimulating healthier diets. Power asymmetries, complex governance arrangements and regulatory challenges are also identified as hindering the development of more joined-up systems thinking. (Source: document “Executive Summary – A global challenge”).

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