The Path Towards Healthful Food Systems
Everyday, billions of people globally suffer from malnutrition in all its forms: hunger, nutrient deficiencies, overnutrition.
Diets are the essential link between food systems, nutrition and health outcomes: a poor diet quality is a core driver in fueling the malnutrition crisis. Conversely, a healthy diet is the first step towards ensuring more sustainable, equitable livelihoods.
With integrated, data-driven solutions anchored in locally available agrobiodiversity, we are shaping the future behavior of producers, market actors, and consumers to ensure everyone gets access to fair, safe, healthy foods.
Our work on healthful food systems across Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe enables access to nutritious crops and safer foods to all – throughout the entire value-chain.
Unlocking healthful food systems for all
The Alliance is uniquely well placed to connect agricultural production with consumption, across six key priority areas:
- Social inclusion: with a focus on women, youth, indigenous peoples, and marginalized groups.
- Resilience: with a focus on increased system capacity to boost adaptability and response to shocks and risks.
- Sustainability with a focus on reducing the environmental footprint, while ensuring affordability and equity as core pillars.
- Consumer Behaviours: with a whole-of-diet approach that improves diet quality, sustainability, and food safety, increasing the desirability of healthy food choices.
- Business Innovations: spearheading green jobs for women and youth, and focusing on nutrient-rich commodities.
- Policy: to unlock enabling policies that can actively incentivize healthy food choices.
Working together to end malnutrition and improve diets
Our Strategy 2020-2025 sets how we tackle the malnutrition crisis through holistic, science-based solutions that generate impactful shifts in the enabling environment.
By identifying programmatic and institutional entry points, targeted program interventions and novel partnerships with influential actors—from media to food companies—we are delivering knowledge and tools to achieve healthy and sustainable diets.
We also partner with global and multilateral policy-setting bodies that can help promote sustainable diets and more healthful food systems, such as the Committee on World Food Security and the United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition.
See our work on Healthful Food Systems in action
GETTING COUNTRIES READY FOR THE UN FOOD SYSTEMS SUMMIT
As nations prepare to meet the challenges set by the first United Nations Food Systems Summit, decision-makers need to assess and address any gaps at country-level.
To support this process, the Alliance—in partnership with the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture—is assembling Sustainable Food System Country Profiles for low and middle income regions, focusing on three pilot countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Honduras. Based on previous Alliance’s profiles series for climate-smart agriculture, digital agriculture and risk assessment, these country profiles are set to provide critical information and analysis to identify hotspots of unsustainability in food systems. Findings will allow data-driven public and private interventions and investments.
IMPROVING FOOD SYSTEMS IN KENYA
In collaboration with the European Union’s Healthy Food Africa project, the Alliance is leading a key initiative to ensure food security through sustainable agriculture: Food System Lab for Kisumu, in Kenya.
In Kisumu, food poverty is pervasive and diets are dominated by maize, which is low in essential nutrients. The area is close to Lake Victoria, but fish production is too low to meet demand: fish is imported from China for those who can afford it.
New initiatives supported by local partners and the Food System Lab include sustainable aquaculture and strengthened links between urban consumers and producers of leafy vegetables outside the city. Further to that, the Food System Lab also ensures on-the-ground training, and works to empower women and youth, as well as to improve governance.