A new report - "Beacons of Hope: Accelerating Transformations to Sustainable Food Systems" - launched this week showcases 21 initiatives from across the world that are working to achieve sustainable, equitable, and secure food systems.
The report by the Global Alliance for the Future of Food and Biovision Foundation for Ecological Development contributes inspiring solutions to urgent global issues such as the climate emergency, migration, urbanisation, and the need for healthier and more sustainable diets.
Building on the outcomes of the IPCC's Special Report on Land, the 21 initiatives are evidence that transformation is possible and point clearly to the nature- and people-based solutions available to us. They include:
Climate Resilient Zero Budget Natural Farming, a government-backed chemical-free program that promotes food resilience through traditional farming and agro-ecological processes. Knowledge and skills are shared through farmer-to-farmer mentoring, with plans to scale from 180,000 farmers today to 6 million in Andhra Pradesh, India, by 2024.
Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO), promoting income generation, biodiversity conservation, and food security in Zambia by training poachers to be farmers. Skilling farmers in agro-ecological approaches helps generate an alternative income and livelihood to (illegal) hunting of wildlife.
EOSTA, a business in the Netherlands that produces and imports sustainable, organic, and fair-trade fruits and vegetables. It provides full traceability of their products and promotes true cost accounting in order to build a sustainable market between producers and consumers.
MASIPAG, a farmer-led network of civil society organisations, NGOs, and scientists in the Philippines sustainably managing biodiversity through farmer bred and controlled rice production, seeds and biological resources.
Zero Waste San Francisco, a local government initiative to reorganise waste management in the city by shifting to a circular system. They reduce waste by targeting growers and food businesses with informative campaigns, creating links for wholesalers with food banks, changing consumer behaviours, and more.
The report also provides policymakers, investors, funders, businesses, and researchers with a comprehensive Food Systems Transformation Toolkit built on the Global Alliance's principles of renewability, health, equity, resilience, diversity, and interconnectedness as a guide for collective action.
Ruth Richardson, executive director at the Global Alliance for the Future of Food said: "There's little doubt that we need systemic change, new policies, and a shift in power dynamics in order to realise a safe, resilient, and fair food future.
"As our new report makes clear, though our current food system is behind most of the world's environmental problems, it is also the source of the solutions we need. It's now on us, as a global community, to recognise that the transformations we need are already occurring and to turn our energies towards accelerating this process.
"This starts with better understanding how to support and facilitate these transformative processes in place-based, contextual ways, which makes this report an invaluable asset to those who want to transform policy, practice, and mindsets."
Andreas Schriber, CEO at Biovision said: "The key to solving humanity's biggest challenges - in particular, the climate and biodiversity crisis, as well as addressing malnutrition and hunger - lies within food systems.
"There is so much to learn from the Beacons of Hope. It is our duty to spread the word and establish a new narrative of hope and optimism, proving that big transformation is feasible and that we are not doomed to continue to move towards ecological and social collapse. The Beacons show what is possible and are an example for others."
Find out more here.