© James Morgan / WWF
Food
We must transform our food systems to achieve healthy people and a healthy planet
We all need to eat, but today’s food systems are failing.

How we produce and consume food is the biggest driver of nature loss and a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Unhealthy diets are leaving billions obese, overweight or ill, but nearly 830 million are still going hungry. Huge amount of the food we produce is going uneaten - a waste of natural resources, human labour and money. Neither planet nor people are being nourished.

And our food systems are fragile. Unsustainable production and consumption, and inefficient distribution, leave them exposed to disruption. Climate change and nature loss are reducing food security around the world, but so are pandemics and conflict.

It’s clear our food systems need to change – urgently – to work with the planet, not against it. 

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The good news is that food systems can be part of the solution – not just to hunger, but to the nature and climate crises.

By adopting nature-positive production practices, shifting to healthy and sustainable diets and radically reducing food loss and waste, we can build food systems that protect and conserve nature while providing everyone with nutritious food, now and in the future. 
SOLVING THE GREAT FOOD PUZZLE

Transforming food systems is complex - there are many different pieces that need to be assembled to deliver healthy and sustainable diets for all. There needs to be action at multiple levels - coming together to address global goals, building pathways at the national level, and equipping other actors (like cities, businesses and individuals) to make better and more sustainable choices. Solving this Great Food Puzzle relies on the many stakeholders working within food systems to close the gaps that currently exist in the ambiiton and implementation of various commitments and plans.

We work with partners and stakeholders across food systems, using food to shape solutions to global issues like biodiversity, climate change and land use. Together we integrate action across several key areas of food systems, including nature-positive agriculture, healthy and sustainable diets, food loss and waste, blue foods and grasslands and savannahs. We identify and support implementation of innovations in these key areas, on the ground and in the water, working with various local stakeholders to deliver the maximum impact in the shortest amount of time.

IN FOCUS - NEW GRaSS ALLIANCE LAUNCHES

WWF has joined forces with BirdLife, Plantlife, Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy to launch the Grasslands, Rangelands, Savannahs and Shrublands (GRaSS) Alliance. Together we will identify the grasslands of highest ecological importance for protection, sustainable management or restoration, under the 30 x 30 commitment, monitor their status and threats they face and help all stakeholders deliver transformative action on the ground.

Grasslands are home to some of the world's most iconic species, and provide crucial ecological habitats and food and income for over 1 billion people. They play a crucial role in climate stability, storing over 30% of the world's carbon stocks, and make substantial contributions to freshwater regulation, soil preservation, and other essential ecosystem services. Despite their importance, half of the world's grasslands have already suffered some degree of degradation, and the risks are on the rise. The main challenges include agricultural conversion, such as monocropping practices, intensified livestock grazing and the replacement of native grass species with non-native counterparts in pastures.

The time is now to elevate grasslands and acknowledge their outsized et overlooked contribution to global commitments on climate, biodiversity, land, water, food, health, and poverty. Urgent and unified action is needed to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Global Biodiversity Framework.

 

GLOBAL AGENDAS

Food intersects with most of the primary conservation issues. We work at the global level to shape agendas and ensure that food systems transformation is included as a solution to biodiversity loss, climate change and land-use change. We also focus on reshaping subsidies, incentives, taxes and investments, to shift away from encouraging harmful behaviours to rewarding healthy and sustainable practices.

Food for thriving biodiversity

FOOD FOR A STABLE CLIMATE

FOOD AND SUSTAINABLE LAND USE

NATIONAL PATHWAYS

Global targets for food systems transformation need to be downscaled to local contexts. Implementation will take place at the national and sub-national level. We take a food systems approach, working to scale nature-positive production, shift to healthier and more sustainable diets, and to eliminate food loss and waste. Our area-based conservation focuses on grasslands and savannahs, the ecosystems in which most food is produced - though they are often overlooked in conservation and transformation agendas.

Nature-Positive Production

Healthy and Sustainable Diets

Food Loss and Waste

Grasslands and Savannahs

IMPLEMENTATION

Alongside national governments, there are many different groups who drive action on the ground. We work with food producers, businesses, individuals, cities and more to deliver action on the ground. This is a sample of the programmes run across multiple countries.

Our experts

Our experts from around the world work together to tackle the global food, nature and climate crises. Leading the team is João Campari, who, in roles ranging from working in his home country Brazil’s Ministry of Environment to international agencies such as the World Bank, has sought to balance agricultural production and food systems with conservation. Learn more about Joao and our specialists in policy, science and key areas of our work.