The Food Action Alliance is pleased to launch a report “Food Action Alliance: A leadership agenda for multi-stakeholder collaboration to transform food systems”, produced in collaboration with Bain & Company and the World Economic Forum. The report gathers insights from FAA’s journey supporting transformative food system partnerships, and provides a roadmap toward delivering the SDGs and the ambitions of the UN FSS – by providing a well-established platform that facilitates cross-sector coordination and collaboration.
Context for action
Food is essential for our survival – but food systems are complex and currently unsustainable for both people and planet. With ~811 million people suffering from hunger, and food production being a huge contributor to climate change and biodiversity loss, there is an urgent need to transform prevailing food systems. Food system transformation is among the most powerful ways to make progress on multiple SDGs – but the high level of systemic interdependency means that rebuilding food systems requires an unprecedented degree of cooperation.
Delivering on a global agenda for transformation
Established in 2019, the Food Action Alliance (FAA) is a multi-stakeholder platform of organisations and initiatives, who through collective action seek to produce food in a way that is efficient, inclusive and accessible to all - in support of a transition to healthier diets and improved environmental outcomes.
FAA’s vision is of sustainable food systems that deliver better, faster, and at scale on food security and nutrition, inclusive growth and decent jobs, environmental sustainability and climate resilience, in line with the UN SDGs.
FAA builds on a model of partnership for value chain action extensively implemented by the World Economic Forum under the New Vision for Agriculture (NVA) initiative - which has catalysed over 100 value chain initiatives in more than 26 countries in the past decade. This initiative also recognises that key success factors of agriculture-sector transformation at the national level include setting the right direction through effective leadership, strategy and investment models, and scaling the transformation through finance, infrastructure, institutions and monitoring. FAA responds to growing demand for similar initiatives and for new, more holistic solutions to food system challenges that affect value chains.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development informs the ambition of the FAA to provide an enduring and long-term platform for multi-stakeholder action on food systems to meet the SDGs.
FAA brings together a large network of partners in order to mobilize partnerships and investments to accelerate partner-led initiatives that have the potential to support a transition to improved food systems. Partner-led initiatives that meet FAA’s criteria become “flagship” initiatives, joining a global portfolio of initiatives that receive dedicated support and visibility, to ultimately deliver demonstrable impact on the ground.
A growing portfolio of flagships
As of September 2021, the FAA portfolio consists of 19 flagships in Latin America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia with a growing pipeline of other initiatives in existing regions, Europe and North America
FAA flagships drive food systems action through three key pathways:
1. Supporting national priorities, policies and plans: These initiatives seek to advance national priorities, policies and plans for food and agriculture that cut across value chains by bringing together multiple stakeholders – across governmental agencies, the private sector, civil society and international organizations – to design and deliver interventions that strengthen local food systems
2. Driving systemic integration of key value chains: Local value chains are often the starting point for food system transformation; integrated value chain transformation initiatives address all parts of the value chain from production to consumption to make food systems more inclusive, sustainable, efficient and nutritious
3. Srengthening key ecosystem enablers: Enablers like digital innovation, finance, climate-resilience and gender inclusion among many others are key to build the capacity of underlying food systems and provide the means for stakeholders to advance agendas that cut across value chains or regions
Supporting various members of the FAA, including FAA’s flagships, to deliver action and positive impact on the ground, is done through three key pillars of support:
· Network for Action: Mobilize partnerships and investments by connecting members with the right stakeholders, and provide an aggregated platform to address cross-cutting themes
· Ideas Hub: Share insights and best practices from other flagships and FAA’s network of experts to solve specific thematic challenges e.g. identifying critical bottlenecks and systems inefficiencies and facilitating implementable solutions
· Platform for Leadership: Elevate and provide visibility to initiatives, concepts and thematic areas by drawing on FAA’s partner networks and access to key regional and global events
The learnings from its portfolio and partner network allow the FAA to collect and provide critical insights on food systems solutions and challenges in the form of case studies, analysis and tools to generate ideas, develop innovative models and address complex issues. By engaging with major agenda-setting processes like the UN Food Systems Summit and major regional and global leadership forums, the FAA is able to elevate the most promising models of food system transformation, provide visibility to partner-led initiatives and build communities to advance multi-stakeholder action.
The Food Action Alliance aims to act as a vehicle to deliver on the aims of major agenda setting processes, including the UN Food Systems Summit, the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement.
FAA intends to be a stable, and long-term platform that will continue to scale and accelerate action towards achieving the UN SDGs at a critical juncture for food systems globally with only nine harvests left before 2030. While food will continue to play a vital role in our lives and the planet, food system transformation is both urgent and important to build a healthy future.
Joining the Food Action Alliance
As a partner-led initiative, realizing the full potential of the Food Action Alliance depends entirely on member championship, engagement and resourcing.
The Food Action Alliance was catalysed by the World Economic Forum, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Rabobank, and today engages over 35 strategic and affiliate partners, in addition to a vast network of over 700 global and regional organisations including government, business, international organisations, civil society and farmer organisations. This allows the FAA to provide strong access to a wide range of implementing, commercial and funding partners across the food system with the ability to design and execute complex systemic solutions.
Mission-aligned organisations can join the FAA as Strategic Partners or Affiliate to support FAA’s vision in several ways, including leading or being involved in FAA flagships, or providing financial and in-kind contributions.
If your organization is interested in joining the Food Action Alliance, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.