Food systems for sustainable development: Proposals for a profound four-part transformation

Caron Patrick, Ferrero y de Loma-Osorio Gabriel, Nabarro David, Hainzelin Etienne, Guillou Marion, Andersen Inger, Arnold Tom, Astralaga Margarita, Beukeboom Marcel, Bickersteth Sam, Bwalya Martin, Caballero Paula, Campbell Bruce M., Divine Ntiokam, Fan Shenggen, Frick Martin, Friis Anette, Gallagher Martin, Halkin Jean-Pierre, Hanson Craig, Lasbennes Florence, Ribera Teresa, Rockstrom Johan, Schuepbach Marlen, Steer Andrew, Tutwiler Ann, Verburg Gerda. 2018. Food systems for sustainable development: Proposals for a profound four-part transformation. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 38 (4):41, 12 p.

Journal article ; Article de revue à facteur d'impact
Published version - Anglais
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Quartile : Outlier, Sujet : AGRONOMY / Quartile : Q2, Sujet : GREEN & SUSTAINABLE SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY (Science)

Abstract : Evidence shows the importance of food systems for sustainable development: they are at the nexus that links food security, nutrition, and human health, the viability of ecosystems, climate change, and social justice. However, agricultural policies tend to focus on food supply, and sometimes, on mechanisms to address negative externalities. We propose an alternative. Our starting point is that agriculture and food systems' policies should be aligned to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This calls for deep changes in comparison with the paradigms that prevailed when steering the agricultural change in the XXth century. We identify the comprehensive food systems transformation that is needed. It has four parts: first, food systems should enable all people to benefit from nutritious and healthy food. Second, they should reflect sustainable agricultural production and food value chains. Third, they should mitigate climate change and build resilience. Fourth, they should encourage a renaissance of rural territories. The implementation of the transformation relies on (i) suitable metrics to aid decision-making, (ii) synergy of policies through convergence of local and global priorities, and (iii) enhancement of development approaches that focus on territories. We build on the work of the “Milano Group,” an informal group of experts convened by the UN Secretary General in Milan in 2015. Backed by a literature review, what emerges is a strategic narrative linking climate, agriculture and food, and calling for a deep transformation of food systems at scale. This is critical for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. The narrative highlights the needed consistency between global actions for sustainable development and numerous local-level innovations. It emphasizes the challenge of designing differentiated paths for food systems transformation responding to local and national expectations. Scientific and operational challenges are associated with the alignment and arbitration of local action within the context of global priorities.

Mots-clés Agrovoc : sécurité alimentaire, Changement climatique, adaptation aux changements climatiques, Développement durable

Mots-clés libres : Food systems, Agriculture, Transformation, Nexus, Sustainable development, Climate change, Koronivia

Classification Agris : E21 - Agro-industry
P40 - Meteorology and climatology
E14 - Development economics and policies

Champ stratégique Cirad : Axe 3 (2014-2018) - Alimentation durable

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Caron Patrick, CIRAD-DRS (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0002-8494-2243 - auteur correspondant
  • Ferrero y de Loma-Osorio Gabriel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (ESP)
  • Nabarro David, Imperial College (GBR)
  • Hainzelin Etienne, CIRAD-DG-Direction générale (FRA) ORCID: 0000-0003-1303-3082
  • Guillou Marion, Agreenium (FRA)
  • Andersen Inger, IUCN (CHE)
  • Arnold Tom, Institute of International and European Affairs (IRL)
  • Astralaga Margarita, IFAD (ITA)
  • Beukeboom Marcel, Ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat (NLD)
  • Bickersteth Sam, Oxford Martin School (GBR)
  • Bwalya Martin, NEPAD (ZAF)
  • Caballero Paula, RARE (USA)
  • Campbell Bruce M., CGIAR (NLD)
  • Divine Ntiokam, Climate Smart Agriculture Youth Network (CMR)
  • Fan Shenggen, IFPRI (USA)
  • Frick Martin, UNFCC (DEU)
  • Friis Anette, Wageningen University (NLD)
  • Gallagher Martin, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (IRL)
  • Halkin Jean-Pierre, EC (BEL)
  • Hanson Craig, WRI (USA)
  • Lasbennes Florence
  • Ribera Teresa, IDDRI (FRA)
  • Rockstrom Johan, Stockholm University (SWE)
  • Schuepbach Marlen, Scaling Up Nutrition Movement (CHE)
  • Steer Andrew, WRI (USA)
  • Tutwiler Ann, Bioversity International (ITA)
  • Verburg Gerda, Scaling Up Nutrition Movement (CHE)

Source : Cirad-Agritrop (

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