‘Fixing the Business of Food’ Recommends Aligning Food Systems with the SDGs
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The report provides good practices and recommendations in four areas: promoting and developing healthy and sustainable diets; identifying sustainable ways to produce food; developing sustainable food supply chains; and being a good corporate citizen.

It makes the case for more harmonized and comparable monitoring and reporting standards, explaining that comparability will support the efforts by companies to set more ambitious sustainability targets.

24 September 2019: A report titled, ‘Fixing the Business of Food – The Food Industry and the SDG Challenge,’ spotlights how the food industry is undermining the SDGs, draws attention to the industry’s own development challenges, and makes recommendations for change. The report aims to arm industry leaders with recommendations for supporting healthy and sustainable diets along with sustainable food production methods and supply chains.

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the Santa Chiara Lab of the University of Siena prepared the report, which launched on 24 September 2019, at the margins of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The publication explains that current land-use and food systems contribute to “widespread” hunger, malnutrition and obesity. In addition, food systems account for approximately one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, over 90% of scarcity-weighted water use, most losses of biodiversity, over-exploitation of fisheries, nutrient overload in the water, and air and water pollution. At the same time, the report notes, food systems are highly vulnerable to climate change and land degradation. After providing an analysis of how the food industry currently operates, the publication provides recommendations on how to adapt the industry to current planetary challenges such as climate change, urbanization, ocean pollution and population growth.

The report provides good practices and recommendations in four areas: promoting and developing healthy and sustainable diets; identifying sustainable ways to produce food; developing sustainable food supply chains; and being a good corporate citizen. It then makes the case for a change in business practices and more harmonized and comparable monitoring and reporting standards, explaining that comparability will support the efforts by companies to set more ambitious targets in the four areas.

The publication marks the first phase of a two-year project to identify effective sustainability pathways towards the achievement of the SDGs by the industry. The second phase will consist of engaging with industry leaders to promote the systematization and upgrade of their practices, reporting, monitoring, and public education efforts in alignment with the SDGs. By the text, additional recommendations are expected to be made at the 2020 UNGA. [CCSI Press Release] [Publication: Fixing the Business of Food]

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