The food system is a key solution to tackling the most critical and urgent challenges of our time. Food systems can and should be central to supporting healthy people, a healthy planet and healthy economies. Sustainable systems can underpin a strong economic recovery (including job creation and exiting the debt trap), climate action and public health.
But today’s food systems are typically extractive, destructive and reinforce major inequalities, generating more than $ 12 trillion a year in hidden environmental, social and economic costs. Financial incentives are misaligned; negative externalities are not taken into account, preventing funds from flowing to sustainable opportunities and embedding huge risks in financial systems. As a result, our food systems subtract rather than add value.
An additional investment of $ 350 billion per year is needed to transform food systems. It means changing the way food is funded. Public capital should be used to reduce the risks of regenerative business models, address challenges such as hunger and poverty, and build pipeline and capacity. Private capital can be used to encourage more sustainable practices – by properly valuing ecosystem services and mobilizing resources, knowledge and technology for smallholders, indigenous peoples and other producers to support in a more equitable way to produce and consume food. Overall, reform of the financial system as a whole is needed to reorient incentives and create an enabling environment for investment in sustainable food systems.
To remedy this, the Finance Lever to tackle the incentives that block an extractive, destructive and exploitative finance model, helping to develop the financial system architecture and funding mechanisms (public and private) to support the goals of a better performing food system, more resilient and more equitable.
The UN Public Finance Forum will bring together public and private actors tackle barriers to investment and build an ambitious common vision for a food finance architecture that mobilizes large-scale capital for more sustainable food systems.
This event is organized on behalf of the financial leverage of the United Nations Food Systems Summit. It has benefited from the organization and support of the Secretariat of the United Nations Summit on Food Systems, the World Bank, SYSTEMIQ and the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Last updated: 02 Jul 2021