Geneva, 24 June 2021 - The Demand Generation Alliance (DGA) was launched on 21 June 2021 at the SDG Tent. The DGA’s objective is to encourage pressure from consumers, and wider society, to demand the urgent shift to more sustainable and nutritious foods.
The alliance has been established with a single vision: to make nutritious and sustainable food the preferred consumer choice.
As Co-Chair of DGA, WBCSD will engage its team and corporate members to build knowledge, strengthen collaborations and enable action at country level to shift consumer preferences towards healthy and sustainable diets. DGA will also supports WBCSD’s Vision 2050 food pathway, which recommends to use marketing and education campaigns to shift consumer and employee behavior toward more healthy and sustainable food choices, and reduced food waste.
The DGA was launched by the world’s most influential people in the sustainable food sector:
- Lawrence Haddad, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
- Gunhild Stordalen, EAT
- Alison Oman, World Food Programme
- Jag Sheth, Emory University
- Diane Holdorf, World Business Council for Sustainable Development
- Sanjeev Khagram, Thunderbird School of Global Management
- Sharon Bligh, Consumer Good Forum
Lawrence Haddad, the Executive Director of GAIN and 2018 World Food Prize Laureate, said, “In order to meet 2030 sustainability goals, we need a radical change in how we think and act about food. DGA will work on driving societal preferences towards nutritious and sustainable food by leveraging social and cultural strategies. The vision of making nutritious and sustainable food the preferred choice of consumer can only be achieved by working as a coalition of ‘unusual suspects’”.
The transformation of food systems has traditionally focused on measures that can be applied to supply chains, such as agricultural subsidies and sustainable sourcing. These tactics are vital and necessary in working towards a goal of sustainable access to nutritious foods for all.
It is time now to add a focus on consumer demand, enabling individuals to affect significant change by expressing stronger preferences for more nutritious and sustainable foods. The goal is that this change in demand will further incentivize investment in nutritious and sustainable foods.
The DGA will use two main strategies, targeting both societal and cultural influence on food preference. Societal influence is typically about dining experiences, social norms, social status and social identities. On the other hand, cultural food influences include morals, values, symbols, narratives and technologies.
In order to meet 2030 sustainability goals, we need a radical change in how we think and act about food. Society and culture impact the way we eat, and we seek to shift that for the future. Historically, food system transformation has concentrated on supply-side measures (such as product reformulation, sustainable sourcing, agricultural subsidies) that can be enacted rather than considering changes on the consumer or demand side. The DGA recognizes that there is a critical space within enabling environments for collaborative engagement alongside consumer and citizen action. Demand can not be created by one factor or one actor alone, we see a need for multi-stakeholder, cross-sector collaborations to shape and respond to consumer demand for nutritious and sustainable foods and enable better choices for the future.
Our mission is to drive societal preferences towards nutritious and sustainable food by leveraging social and cultural strategies. We aspire to enact significant change, which cannot be achieved by one sector alone. We must work collaboratively with partners who complement our goals and aims. We see three main avenues for discourse and action going forward.
The first is around changing society, and how, at a societal level, preferences can be shifted and changed. Next is the collaboration that is required for enable success for the future. Without collaboration, change at this level is not possible. Changing society and collaboration will enable better choices for the future.