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Sustainable Food Systems Programme


A multiple challenge

Our planet has the capacity to provide a growing world population with enough nutritious and varied food, now and in the future. However almost 800 million people go hungry and about 2 billion are malnourished. About 30 percent of the global adult population is overweight or obese, and around 30 percent of food produced worldwide is lost or wasted. Food systems are both contributing to and affected by challenges including climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss. They rely on a natural resource base that is becoming increasingly fragile and scarce. Unless consumption and production patterns are brought to operate within planetary boundaries, such pressures will further increase with population and economic growth.

A multi-stakeholder, systems-based response

Responding to these many challenges requires a systems-based approach that addresses the range and complexity of interactions in the production and consumption of food. The Sustainable Food System (SFS) Programme contributes to this by building synergies and cooperation among stakeholders along the pathway to more  sustainable food systems.

Work areas and focus themes

The SFS Programme has four work areas and five cross-cutting focus themes that guide the Programme towards the achievement of its goal.


The four work areas are:

  • Raising awareness on the need to adopt SCP patterns in food systems
  • Building enabling environments for sustainable food systems
  • Increasing the access to and fostering the application of actionable knowledge, information and tools to mainstream SCP in food systems
  • Strengthening collaboration among food system stakeholders to increase the sector’s SCP performance


The following are the five focus themes that are being addressed under these four work areas:

  • Sustainable diets
  • Sustainability along all food value chains
  • Reduction of food losses and waste
  • Local, national, regional multi-stakeholder platforms
  • Resilient, inclusive, diverse food production systems


The Tools:

The SFS Programme has also developed a range of tools that are aimed at providing guidance for the transition to sustainable food systems.