The Index on Food and Sustainability (FSI), with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation, is a welcome tool to help answer the question: How can we achieve environmental and climate goals without compromising current and future food needs? To complement the FSI and examine some of the issues it does not address, IFPRI is going develop the Global Food System Index.
Over half of the UN Sustanaible Development Goals (SDGs) relate to global food security and nutrition, including the goals that relate to poverty, gender equality, water and sanitation, responsible production and consumption, and climate change.
To achieve a whole range of SDGs, the global food system needs to be reshaped. To that end, countries need tools to assess what improvements in their food systems are needed.
To better understand precisely which countries have the best food systems, the Index on Food and Sustainability (FSI) was officially presented in Milan on 1 December 2016 during BCFN’s 7th International Forum on Food and Nutrition.
Through research, dissemination and public engagement, the BCFN contributes to shift towards more sustainable food systems includes the Nutritional and Environmental Double Pyramid, the Milan Protocol as well as Eating Planet.
To produce the FSI, a multidisciplinary approach to study and analyse the relationship between food and scientific, economic, social and environmental factors was used.
Following the COP 21 agreements and the definition of the UN SDGs, the FSI is just the latest result of the endeavour to turn previously identified paradoxes into pillars of global analysis, in order to study and promote sustainable practices and to rebalance the fundamental links between food, people and the Planet, - An Index on Food And Sustainability: Why?
By assessing several important dimensions of the food system, such as: nutrition, sustainable agriculture and food loss and waste, the FSI gives stakeholders important information about where their country’s food system is strong or where it may need more support.
In particular, the FSI highlights the strengths and the weaknesses of various countries’ food systems as a way to extract important lessons for other countries. Thus, the FSI offers a good start by looking at the food systems of the G20 countries as well as Nigeria, Ethiopia, Colombia, the UAE and Israel. For example:
- Colombia scores in the top ten for sustainable agriculture, reflecting strong performance on water management and environmental biodiversity;
- The United States scores poorly for food waste, and along with
- Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranks poorly for overweight and obesity.
At the top of the ranking, the countries with the most sustainable food systems are France, Japan and Canada ...
At the bottom of the ranking is India which, along with countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, must address the double challenge of malnutrition paired with obesity and must markedly improve its agricultural and food waste policies.
A number of aspects of food systems may be taken for granted in developed countries. For example, food systems:
- need well-functioning market dynamics and linkages in the food supply chain for food to move safely and cheaply from farm to fork;
- require government support to create an enabling environment through adequate transport, communication and energy infrastructure, as well as legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks.
These dimensions - which mostly depend on market dynamics and public investments - are critically weak or missing in some developing countries’ food systems.
In those developing countries, where hunger and malnutrition are most severe, more investment is needed to collect precise and timely data as well as to analyse these kind of data and indicators used in the FSI. Different dimentions of the food system also require new strategies for better tracking and monitoring.
Addressing a number of complex challenges in different countries will require a reshaping of their food systems for better nutrition and health, as well as tools that help to elevate the issue and to guide policy response.
- FOOD SUSTAINABILITY INDEX (FSI)
- Importance of Tracking Global Food System Sustainability (Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition)
- The Food Sustainability Index: find food that’s truly “good” (Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition)
- Mixed methods research in action: Using qualitative methods to complement quantitative approaches (CGIAR)
- Foresight Africa. Top Priorities for the Continent in 2017 (The Brookings Institution)
Last but not least...Might be of your interest:
The BCFN endeavours to promote research projects with the goal of helping to create a world where food is produced and consumed in a sustainable way for the benefit of current and future generations.
Completed proposals must be submitted online through the BCFN web site by June 28, 2017 11:59 p.m. CET).
In 2017, INRA is recruiting 32 research scientists to reinforce its teams. Positions are open to all nationalities.
# Applications are open from 26 January to 1st March (for online applications) or 3 March 2017 (for paper applications).