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Food Systems Initiative

Food Systems Initiative

The future of food

The World Economic Forum Food Systems Initiative galvanizes multi-sectoral leadership to support collective regional and country-led action, and advancing global insight and policy, to accelerate food systems transformations to meet the needs of people and the planet.

Nearly 10% of the global population – an estimated 768 million people – were undernourished in 2020, and over 30% - 2.37 billion people – did not have access to adequate food, as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted economies, job markets, and supply chains. Meanwhile, food and agriculture is currently responsible for up to one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, 70% of all freshwater withdrawals, and is the main driver of deforestation and biodiversity loss. Yet despite this, around 931 million tonnes of food went to waste. Overall, 45 million people in 43 countries are facing a food insecurity emergency, due to both external (e.g. conflicts and climate shocks) and internal (e.g. low productivity and inefficient food supply chains) drivers to food systems, that are pushing up the cost of nutritious foods. We need to fundamentally transform our food systems to provide all humanity with affordable, nutritious and healthy food within the limits of nature by 2030, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Achieving this transformation within a decade requires us to rapidly re-think and reshape our global food systems. Success rests on millions of smallholder farmers adapting to sustainable practices, billions of people improving their diets, and an ecosystem of actors that can enable transitions. This will demand an unprecedented level of regional and country action, supported by global leadership and underpinned by multiple integrated programmes and large-scale initiatives to leverage technology, streamline value chains, and adjust market systems.

Communities of action

The World Economic Forum Food Systems Initiative aims to accelerate this transformation by facilitating multi-sectoral leadership to support, strengthen and scale inclusive regional and country-led action, while advancing global

knowledge, insight and policy. Over the past 15 years, the Food Systems Initiative has galvanized collaboration among more than 1000 diverse organizations, resulting in multistakeholder partnership initiatives in over

25 countries, catalyzing over 100 value chain partnerships and benefiting millions of farmers in Asia, Africa and Latin America. In cooperation with public, private, and civil society sectors around the world, Leadership Groups work to build trust, collaborate, and unlock systemic opportunities in food systems, drawing on their diverse networks and areas of expertise. They raise ambition and mobilize high-level support for initiatives designed to address food systems, inspire and test new breakthrough partnerships, and accelerate impact at scale.

A twin-track strategy focuses leadership action on two interconnected goals of the Food Systems Initiative’s portfolio of activity:


  1. Catalyze and support multistakeholder partnership platforms to deliver regional and country action at scale

  2. Accelerate levers for change that can unlock systemic challenges and opportunities in food systems by generating insights, mobilizing collaboration, and delivering innovation



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