- The pandemic has laid bare the weaknesses in our global food system.
- We must take this opportunity to rethink the way we produce, distribute and eat food in order to help build a healthier and more sustainable world.
- Here are three actions to kickstart the change process.
The COVID-19 crisis is a ‘stress test’ for our global food systems – and they are failing. Today we see farmers dumping milk and ploughing crops back into their fields, even as stores empty and the need for food assistance surges. We see export restrictions and price hikes as experts predict dramatic increases in malnutrition globally. These failures demand that we ask not only how to repair this damage, but how to fundamentally reimagine food systems to make them more nourishing, resilient and sustainable.
For decades, thinking and strategies around food have developed in silos, with little coordination between communities working on nutrition, agriculture, food, environment, water, health, climate, employment, trade or transport. This has generated serious problems – from policies that provide cheap calories but lead to high rates of diet-related diseases, to market innovations that prioritize efficiency above all and production systems that contribute to climate change and biodiversity loss.