Unless policymakers act decisively to accelerate efforts which improve diets and food systems, all countries will pay a heavy price in terms of mortality, physical health, mental wellbeing, economic losses, degradation of the environment, and the continuing problem of malnutrition.
The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition has developed a Food Systems Policy Tool that can help policy officials deliver on the pledges made and actions agreed at the UN Food Systems Summit. Aimed specifically at policy officials and executives (primarily in low and middle-income countries,), it can help connect high-level policy decisions with on-the-ground interventions across food, agriculture, nutrition and health, using a food systems approach.
The Food Systems Policy Tool builds on the Decision-Making Tool from the Global Panel’s Foresight report, Food Systems and Diets: Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century (Section 7.4, p. 109) and brings together evidence from over twenty briefs, papers and reports published by the Global Panel over the last eight years, each being developed in collaboration with leading independent experts.
This Tool is designed to help governments address malnutrition in all its forms by taking a ’whole of government’ approach, and using the food system as a framework to support the multisector collaborative actions, bringing together people, policies and programmes from across food systems. Also, rather than examining the food system from the perspective of production through to consumption, this Tool puts the consumer at the heart of the decision-making process.
The Policy Tool uses seven simple steps to help prioritise actions towards delivering safe, affordable, healthy diets. These steps identify suitable entry points within the food system to address dietary gaps, checking for policy coherence and sustainability. It is not designed to be prescriptive or indeed universal, but instead, it provides a framework designed to stimulate country-level dialogue to support the development of realistic public and private sector actions.
“The UN Food Systems Summit has created a renewed drive to deliver better diets from more sustainable food systems. This transition will require many trade-offs creating a unique set of challenges in different countries. The Global Panel’s Food Systems Policy Tool is one resource that can help work through these challenges and identify priority areas for action.”
Sir John Beddington, Chair of the Global Panel