Food systems transformation hubs

Today, food systems globally are facing challenges in terms of sustainability, inclusion, and healthy diets

Such threats encompass the environmental costs of current and future nutrition patterns; improved availability, accessibility, and consumption of nutritious, safe, diverse, and sustainable diets; increased incomes through inclusive and diverse market systems; and the effective use of digital tools to capture data, foresight scenarios and unlock better practices to boost food security.

With our work at the nexus of agriculture, the environment, and nutrition, we are using evidence to inform multi-stakeholder policy-making processes and to help identify key actions through a whole-of-system approach.

To support food systems towards this sustainable transformation and ensure food security for all, the Alliance operates out of three key hub cities, based in our regional centers: Cali (Colombia) for the Americas; Hanoi (Viet Nam) for Asia and Oceania; and Nairobi (Kenya) for Africa.

In these cities is anchored what we call a City Region Food System (CRFS): a cluster of focus, facing specific challenges in terms of sustainability, inclusion, and healthy diets.

What is a City Region Food System (CRFS)?

A ‘city region’ is a large urban center or conglomeration of smaller urban centers and the surrounding and interspersed peri-urban and rural hinterland. Consequently, a City Region Food System (CRFS) defines all the actors, processes, and relationships that are involved in food production, processing, distribution, and consumption in a given city region.

How we drive food systems transformation through science

By enabling opportunities to foster inclusive, sustainable & healthier food environments and consumers, we work closely with Alliance teams spanning climate action, digital inclusion, and bioversity. Together, we design and support action to improve food system performance, drive food security, and tackle malnutrition.

Further, by engaging with our host CRFS, we ground our goals into practical action and deliver convincing evidence of food system transformations in practice.

To achieve this, we leverage the technical capacities of our team to assess the status of a CRFS, using a food system framework and multi-stakeholder platforms. We then co-design and test multiple solutions to the most pressing challenges with CRFS public and private actors. 

Ultimately, these processes are evaluated in terms of diets, environmental, socio-economic, and nutritional outcomes, also identifying synergies and trade-offs.

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Cross-cutting research areas

These cross-disciplinary themes are common to all main research areas