The need for transformational change in global agri-food systems has now been widely acknowledged in order to address the climate emergency and the growing environmental, socio-economic and health challenges these systems generate.
Today’s dominant agri-food systems – largely driven by an industrial logic of economies of scale, intensification, specialization, and uniformization – are providing neither food security nor adequate nutrition for all. Moving us dangerously beyond the ‘Planetary Boundaries’ within which humanity can continue to safely operate, these food systems are undermining the very foundation they rely on by destroying soi l ferti l ity and biodiversity, over-exploiting water resources, polluting the soil, air and water, and contributing more GHG emissions than any other sector.
Addressing these chal lenges cannot be achieved alone by incremental improvements to the current industrial model . Instead, a bold paradigm shift is needed to redesign our agri-food systems. Food systems reform will prove critical to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement and Convention on Biological Diversity, and to uphold the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas.
To break away from the current industrial logic, agroecology is increasingly prominent in the discourse on the future of agriculture and food systems. At the same time, steady growth of the organic market is responding to rising consumer demands for healthy, sustainably produced food. And alternative terms, such as regenerative agriculture, ecological organic agriculture, and others are being widely taken up in different regions of the world. Each seeking to transform agrifood systems in an integrated way, these different approaches find common ground in upholding all 13 principles outlined by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) to guide the transformation we need.
IFOAM – Organics International
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