During the 2022 Annual Meeting the Food Action Alliance released the executive summary of the report with Harvard Kennedy School “Food Systems Leadership in Action: Three critical pathways to respond to crises and drive transformation challenge”.
The Food Action Alliance is pleased to share the report “Food Action Alliance: A leadership agenda for multi-stakeholder collaboration to transform food systems”, produced in collaboration with Bain & Company and the World Economic Forum. The report gathers insights from FAA’s journey supporting transformative food system partnerships and provides a roadmap toward delivering the SDGs and the ambitions of the UN Food Systems Summit – by providing a well-established platform that facilitates cross-sector coordination and collaboration.
Context for action
Food is essential for our survival – but food systems are complex and currently unsustainable for both people and planet. With ~828 million people suffering from hunger, and food production being a huge contributor to climate change and biodiversity loss, there is an urgent need to transform prevailing food systems. Food system transformation is among the most powerful ways to make progress on multiple SDGs – but the high level of systemic interdependency means that rebuilding food systems requires an unprecedented degree of cooperation. The Food Action Alliance focuses on achieving the coordination and cooperation that can address these challenges and surface new opportunities, with the promise of greater impact for existing initiatives and accelerated transformation of food systems.
Delivering a global agenda for food systems transformation
Established in 2019, the Food Action Alliance (FAA) is a multistakeholder coalition aimed at accelerating collective action by mobilizing partnerships and investments to deliver better, faster, and at scale on food security and nutrition, inclusive growth and decent jobs, environmental sustainability and climate resilience, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Building on the goals set forth by the UN Food Systems Summit 2021, FAA offers an enduring and long-term platform for regional and country-led action, advancing national pathways for food systems transformation in close alignment and coordination with UN agencies toward achieving the 2030 Agenda.
FAA builds on a model of partnership for value chain action extensively implemented by the World Economic Forum under the New Vision for Agriculture (NVA) initiative, which has catalysed over 100 value chain initiatives in more than 26 countries in the past decade. It also builds on the extensive experience of partner-led existing programmes and on a broad network of global and regional organisations that have endorsed the establishment of a vehicle for tighter collaboration on systemic issues in the food system, looking at the potential for scaling impact and attracting investment into sustainable agriculture through a smarter pooling of resources.
A growing portfolio of country and regional flagships
FAA has endorsed a model supporting flagship initiatives, which are intended to be multistakeholder and demonstrate impact at scale. Flagships can demonstrate comprehensive action towards achieving a specific pathway transition agenda or sector wide transformation by: aligning micro and macro aspects into a coherent focus; identifying viable technologies more quickly that have global or regional replicability; appropriately targeting a comprehensive package of incentives to catalyze transition-oriented investments and achieve the appropriate economies of scale; and all at the same time building towards achieving a greater degree inclusivity.
Country or regional flagships aim to demonstrate systems-wide transition clearly and tangibly, in line with specific national priorities. Flagships developed for local contexts can coordinate governments, industry and society to support and reinforce each other’s actions, ultimately developing a self-sustaining transition politically, technologically, socially and economically.
To date, FAA has a portfolio of 19 investible flagships in Latin America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia with a growing pipeline of other initiatives in current regions of focus, Europe and North America. The Alliance also works at country-level in support of country pathways in Colombia, India, Kenya, Rwanda, the UAE and Vietnam.
FAA flagships drive food systems action through three key pathways:
1. Mobilizing private sector partnership and investment toward initiatives with a food systems approach that hold the potential to unlock systems change, addressing an inter-connected array of issues on nutrition, sustainable land use, climate change resilience, regenerative agriculture, food security, inclusion, and others.
2. Supporting national priorities and state capability to advance food systems transformation: FAA works alongside countries or regional organisations to support country pathways for food systems transformation, bringing together multiple stakeholders – including government, business, development finance institutions and official development assistance – to align, complement and deliver interventions that strengthen country and regional food systems goals.
3. Maximizing and leveraging key ecosystem enablers: Enablers like digital and data, innovation and technology, financing and de-risking mechanisms, inclusion of women and youth, among others, that are key to strengthen the capacity of underlying food systems and provide the means for stakeholders to advance agendas that cut across value chains or regions.
Looking ahead: delivering positive and measurable impact
The FAA delivers its strategy through a Global Secretariat and regional partner organisations, with the strategic guidance of FAA’s Steering Committee. FAA’s upcoming phase in 2022-2023 will focus on doubling down its efforts to accelerate and scale concrete action and measurable impact at country and regional level.
In addition, FAA will continue to engage in major agenda-setting processes, including COP27, UN High-level meetings, the UN Food Systems Summit stocktaking moment in 2023, Davos and other major regional and global leadership forums, offering concrete opportunities for multi-stakeholder action that can advance shared goals for food systems transformation.
Upcoming milestones include:
- African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF), 5 – 9 September
- Sustainable Development Impact Meeting, 19 – 23 September
- Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and World Food Day, 12 – 16 October
- Grow Asia Forum, 18 October
- FAA Steering Committee Meeting, 27 October
- COP 27, 7 –18 November
- 2023 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, 15 – 20 January
Joining the Food Action Alliance
As a partner-led initiative, realizing the full potential of the Food Action Alliance depends entirely on member championship, engagement and resourcing.
The Food Action Alliance was catalysed by the World Economic Forum, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Rabobank, and today engages over 40 strategic and affiliate partners, in addition to a vast network of over 700 global and regional organisations including government, business, international organisations, civil society and farmer organisations. This allows the FAA to provide strong access to a wide range of implementing, commercial and funding partners across the food system with the ability to design and execute complex systemic solutions.
Mission-aligned organisations can join the FAA as Strategic Partners or Affiliate to support FAA’s vision in several ways, including leading or being involved in FAA flagships, or providing financial and in-kind contributions.
If your organization is interested in joining the Food Action Alliance, please reach out Adam Gerstenmier, Executive Director of FAA at email@example.com.