Paving the way for healthy and sustainable diets

The Healthy and Sustainable Diets chapter of the Food and Agriculture Roadmap focuses on companies in the consumption part of the food value chain, providing guidance on business-led solutions to enable and achieve healthy and sustainable diets to all by 2030 and 2050. It puts forward overarching, high-level, timebound transformational targets and outlines concrete actions for companies to take to provide consumers with access to healthy and sustainable foods, while supporting better consumption choices.

Published: 10 Nov 2020
Type: News

Geneva, 10 November 2020 – Today, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched Food and Agriculture Roadmap – Chapter on healthy and sustainable diets. The Food and Agriculture Roadmap serves as an implementation of the CEO Guide to Food System Transformation and it sets out transformational targets, key action areas and solutions urgently required to transform food systems to achieve environmental sustainability, equitable livelihoods, and healthy and sustainable diets for all.

The private sector is responsible for almost all the food produced, sold and consumed globally. Therefore, businesses have a central role to play in improving food production and consumption patterns worldwide. The Food and Agriculture Roadmap calls on companies to work actively to address the issues of healthy and environmentally sustainable production and consumption by delivering integrated solutions to transform food systems.

The Healthy and Sustainable Diets chapter of the Roadmap provides a common narrative, identify gaps, and highlight new opportunities for bold private sector action around four themes corresponding to the body of the work developed by FReSH around: positive nutrition, proteins, plant-forward foods, and consumer behavior change. The Roadmap maps out the key action areas and a series of business-led solutions to achieve dietary shifts and reduce food waste, covering direct pathway 3: “Shift diets to be healthy and sustainable” and [partially] 4: “Minimize food loss and waste,” from the CEO Guide.

The transformational targets proposed in this chapter fall within two categories: diet and nutrition, and food waste, and they are drawn from the most relevant existing scientific and sector-specific literature – produced by EAT-Lancet, the FOLU Coalition, the FABLE Consortium, WHO-FAO, WRI, WBCSD and the United Nations. Each publication highlights the role of sustainable and/or healthy diets in achieving transformative change in the food system and suggests that feeding the growing population sustainably and nutritiously requires drastic global change. The suggested targets are a call to action for the food and agriculture sector to provide healthy, accessible, enjoyable food for all, produced in a socially responsible manner within planetary boundaries.

In the coming months, FReSH and its member companies will implement and advance the Roadmap’s individual actions identified and enhance multi-stakeholders collaborations across the food and agriculture value chain and beyond to advance the identified collective actions. The Responsible Business Pledge will provide a framework for the private sector to identify the commitment-making process for the development of collective actions.

Diane Holdorf, WBCSD, Food & Nature Managing Director, said: “We are living in challenging times, and the pace of change has accelerated. Our future depends on our ability to create a system that supports healthy people and a healthy planet. We have been able to produce a great amount of food for the world’s population, and there are already solutions that allow us to feed the growing population. But our current systems make demands that go way beyond the resources of our planet while we face the dual crises of obesity and malnutrition around the world. ”

Jacobine Das Gupta, Director Sustainability at DSM said: “Scientists have prompted in 2018 and 2019 for significant food system changes - because we are not doing a good job in feeding ourselves and surpass our planetary boundaries. The COVID19 pandemic has highlighted further the vulnerabilities of the food systems. Building on the ‘CEO Guide for Food System Transformation’ report (2019), WBCSD shows with this first and practical roadmap what companies can do with interventions and examples to make the shift towards ‘Sustainable Healthy Diets’ – a must for all progressive companies that want to make a change!”

Els De Groene, Global Director Nutrition Standards & Advocacy at Unilever said : “The Food System needs to change and it is our responsibility to make it easier for consumers to have food that is nutritious, sustainable and fair. Only by working together we can reach many people and make a big impact”


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