Collaborating to change local food systems
Ellen MacArthur Foundation - The modern food system has many challenges - it is hugely wasteful, degrades nature, and causes many people to be unhealthy, through both its consumption and production. The consequences are significant.
A recent report published by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimated that for every dollar spent on food, society pays the equivalent of two dollars in health, environmental, and economic costs.
Cities, through their unique characteristics, assets, and capabilities, could play a key role in changing this. By 2050 more than two-thirds of people will live in cities. The average consumption of food per person tends to be higher in cities due to higher incomes and other factors. Combined, this means that by 2050 it is estimated that 80% of all food will be destined for cities, giving urban food players huge demand power. Cities also accumulate large volumes of valuable food by-products and waste, which if managed effectively can yield many new forms of value for the bioeconomy.
For these reasons, cities have great influence to shape the future food system. The ongoing work in Milan is a great example of policymakers realising this potential and creating the important policy foundation to support this transformation.