NewForesight and Commonland launch paper on transitioning our food system

20 January, 2017

NewForesight proudly announces the publication of the new report “New Horizons for the Transitioning of our Food System: Connecting Ecosystems, Value Chains and Consumers”. The report—developed in collaboration with Commonland and with contributions from the Boston Consulting Group—presents the complex challenges we face in our current food system, and highlights opportunities to forge a path towards a more sustainable future.

Creating sustainable food systems will be a prerequisite for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, despite the groundbreaking work that has been done over the past decades, the transition within our food system is not proceeding fast enough to meet the SDGs in the required timeframe. Our current food system is far from being sustainable and bears many challenges: the majority of farmers live in poverty, half of the world population is malnourished, food is wasted on a massive scale, and natural resources are exhausted. These factors are all pushing our planet beyond its ecological limits.

The “New Horizons” report is a collaborative effort between NewForesight and Commonland, with contributions from the Boston Consulting Group, and argues that the sustainable transformation of our food system not only offers some of the biggest challenges mankind has ever faced, but offers significant opportunities for businesses, farmers, and society, who are all part of biodiverse ecological systems. These opportunities can be captured if we change our core approach to sustainability from fragmented, reductionist efforts to combat negative impacts, towards programmes offering holistic, long-term solutions which capture net positive business opportunities with multiple returns.

In the paper, we sketch an initial outline of what these holistic approaches could look like. The main aim of this paper is to trigger decision makers in business, government, and society to form coalitions, apply such holistic approaches and drive systemic change in our food systems at scale using an ecosystem approach. These coalitions are the key to convening representative stakeholders from all levels, unlocking collaborative learning within food systems, and identifying and pursuing the opportunities for growth and value creation offered by this transition.

NewForesight has a wealth of experience in convening and supporting coalitions of diverse stakeholders, such as for the Organic Cotton Accelerator, the Global Coffee Platform, and CocoaAction. We drive coalitions of front-runners like these towards positive impact by convening relevant stakeholders from all levels, unlocking collaborative learning within value chains, and identifying and pursuing new opportunities for growth and value creation.

The authors, and their respective organizations, are committed to driving these coalitions and engaging with decision makers and practitioners to make the food transition a reality.

We are interested in knowing if the discussion paper and a supporting slide presentation resonate with you. Please contact Wouter-Jan Schouten if you would like to discuss with one of the authors about potential opportunities to accelerate the food transition.

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