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Sustainable Food Systems «Glossary» on key approaches, concepts and terms

  • Published on January 15, 2019
Over the past years, there has been an increase of discussions and work around sustainable food systems and related concepts. While this is a welcome indication of the growing global awareness for the need to transition towards more sustainable food systems, there is a potentially confusing and counterproductive diversity of views and language being used among countries and other stakeholders on what sustainable food systems are and how they can be achieved. A common understanding, both in relation to the challenges to be addressed, the objectives to be attained, as well as the approaches that can be used to meet these objectives, is crucial in a complex system composed of a variety of interdependent actors. Through this publication, we, the One Planet Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) Programme, aim to strengthen and promote a global common language and understanding.
This publication is still under elaboration. After internal delibarations with the ad hoc task team as well as within the SFS Programme MAC, the discussion was opened up in November/December 2018 for a public online consultation. The consultation attracted 80 pages of feedback and pointed towards further areas for discussion. The inputs from the online consultation will feed into the final publication. One of the highlights so far is that for the first time, we have a working definition of what is understood by "sustainable food systems approach": A Sustainable Food Systems Approach considers food systems in their totality, taking into account the interconnections and trade-offs among the different elements of food systems, as well as their diverse actors, activities, drivers and outcomes. It seeks to simultaneously maximize societal outcomes across environmental, social (incl. health) and economic dimensions.

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