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المنتدى العالمي المعني بالأمن الغذائي والتغذية


Towards a common understanding of Sustainable Food Systems

Dear Members,

The Sustainable Food Systems Programme (SFS Programme) of the UN One Planet network (10YFP) is currently developing a publication on key approaches, concepts and terms in relation to sustainable food systems.

While global awareness for the need to transition towards more sustainable food systems is growing, stakeholders use a diversity of language with regard to sustainable food systems and have differing views about what they are and how they can be achieved. However, a common understanding of the challenges to be addressed and the approaches to meet these challenges, is a crucial ingredient to bring about the multi-stakeholder collaboration required for the transformation of our food systems in line with the SDGs. Against this background, the publication aims to promote such a common understanding, by involving food system actors from all stakeholder groups in its development, from conception to drafting and final editing. To make it as inclusive as possible, we would like to invite you to share your inputs and views on the draft v1.0.

The SFS Programme is a global multi-stakeholder partnership with a network of currently more than 150 key food system actors worldwide. Promoting a holistic, system-based approach towards more integrated and inclusive policy-making, the Programme’s goal is to accelerate the shift towards sustainable food systems, through both normative as well as action-oriented work implemented by collaborative initiatives. The ambition of the publication is to become a reference document for anyone working towards more sustainable consumption and production patterns in the area of food and agriculture. It explores the Sustainable Food Systems Approach and a series of related key concepts and approaches, and contains a glossary with definitions of terms that are of relevance to sustainable food systems.

The current draft has been developed in collaboration with the SFS Programme’s Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee. The goal of this consultation is to further open up the drafting phase to the entire SFS Programme network and beyond, to the widest possible set of stakeholders. All comments will be duly considered provided that they are in line with the scope of the publication and the SFS Programme’s basic texts.

We invite you to consider the following questions:

  • Does the draft adequately explain the principal components of a sustainable food systems approach (section 2.1.) and put the latter in relation to the approaches discussed in section 3.1.?
  • Are the key concepts in relation to sustainable food systems in section 2.2. well defined and described, including their importance for this publication?
  • Is the list of terms in chapter 4 complete, are any important terms missing (if yes, please submit together with the respective definitions) or do you think certain terms may be redundant?

For more information on the One Planet SFS Programme, please visit:

We thank you for your valuable contribution and for helping us strengthen and promote a global common language and understanding of sustainable food systems.

Alwin Kopse
Deputy Assistant Director-General

Head International and Food Security Unit

Federal Office for Food and Agriculture FOAG, Switzerland

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