How to achieve the transitions to a sustainable, affordable, trustworthy and high-quality food system in the next decade or two that will fulfil the needs of a diverse and growing world population. This is the central issue in the new policy document of Wageningen University and Research, titled ‘Food transitions 2030’ and written by Frans Kampers and Louise Fresco.
Healthy, circular and recource-efficient paradigm
The document provides a vision on the required transition from the current unsustainable food system to a healthy, circular and resource-efficient paradigm. A hugely complex transition since the multiple aspects of food production and consumption are closely interconnected and changing one aspect can easily have major unintended consequences. Yet the transitions are urgent and must be driven by science as well as values and economics. Therefore an integrated vision is proposed characterised by four objectives, which are to be pursued through eight scientific approaches combined within a matrix, always aiming for societal acceptance and citizen appreciation. We believe that a joint effort of all stakeholders in a Joint Undertaking is the best way to pursue the strategy.
Sustainable, high-quality food production system
The document presents our view on the Food 2030 High-Level Conference, in October 2016. The background document of the Conference defines four challenges that need to be solved to secure a sustainable, high-quality food production system:
- Nutrition for sustainable and healthy diets
- Climate smart and environmentally sustainable food systems
- Circularity and resource efficiency of food systems
- Innovation and empowerment of communities
These four objectives are pursued in the policy document in eight different development in science that are particular relevant to addressing the objectives.
The intertwined structure of the objectives and applicable science is shown in the figure.