A new report highlights 21 examples of ‘inspiring’ initiatives working towards secure and sustainable food systems.
The report, titled ‘Beacons of Hope: Accelerating Transformations to Sustainable Food Systems’, was published jointly by the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, a philanthropic alliance aimed at transforming food systems to ensure future sustainability; and the non-profit Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development, which works to promote sustainable agricultural practices in Africa. It identifies 21 ‘Beacons of Hope’, initiatives and programmes effecting sustainable transformation within food systems and supply chains; and explores the commonalities between the various programmes in order to develop recommendations for wider systems transformation.
Ruth Richardson, Executive Director at the Global Alliance for the Future of Food, said: “There’s little doubt that we need systemic change, new policies and a shift in power dynamics in order to realise a safe, resilient and fair food future. As our new report makes clear, though our current food system is behind most of the world’s environmental problems, it is also the source of the solutions we need. It’s now on us as a global community to recognise that the transformations we need are already occurring and to turn our energies towards accelerating this process. This starts with better understanding how to support and facilitate these transformative processes in place-based, contextual ways, which makes this report an invaluable asset to those who want to transform policy, practice and mindsets.”
The Beacons of Hope for a sustainable food future named in the report, which builds on the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on sustainable land use released last week, include:
- EOSTA, a Dutch business which produces and imports sustainable, organic, fair trade fruits and vegetables – EOSTA offers full product traceability and endorses ‘true cost’ accounting, which assesses the value of products by taking into account their impact on the environment and public health;
- Community Markets for Conservation, a Zambian scheme which retrains poachers in sustainable food farming practices; and
- Zero Waste San Francisco, an initiative supported by San Francisco’s municipal government which aims to shift the city to a circular economy system through targeted information campaigns, promoting behavioural change in consumers and partnerships with local food banks.
Biovision CEO Andreas Schriber said: “The key to solving humanity’s biggest challenges – in particular the climate and biodiversity crisis, as well as addressing malnutrition and hunger – lies within food systems. There is so much to learn from the Beacons of Hope. It is our duty to spread the word and establish a new narrative of hope and optimism, proving that big transformation is feasible and that we are not doomed to continue to move towards ecologic and social collapse. The Beacons show what is possible and are an example for others.”