Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Dear Madam/Sir,

Attached please find a contribution of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food for the consultation on the new FAO-IFAD Food System Integrated Program.

We are a strategic alliance of philanthropic foundations collaborating on bold action to transform food systems. The recommendations expressed in this document are built after years of consultation with our members and based on strong collaboration with a wide range of partners supporting transformations towards healthy, equitable, renewable, resilient, inclusive, diverse, and interconnected food systems.

Contribution of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food

Dear Sameer Karki, dear FAO and IFAD teams,

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the new FAO-IFAD Food Systems Integrated Program, its Theory of Change (ToC) and the Draft Results Framework.

As an alliance of philanthropic organizations deeply committed to food system transformation, this global program greatly interests us. We appreciate the systemic approach adopted on its ToC, and the comprehensiveness and ambition of the programme. In the past 10 years, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food has worked on a number of topics associated with levers of food system transformation and we would like to indicate references that might be useful in building the global objectives of this Program.

Commenting more specifically on the ToC and the questions (1) and (2):

● We observe that the fragmentation, limited policy coherence and ultimately unsustainable food system architecture indicated as barriers to transformation is problematized by the lack of integration of different global frameworks and associated national-level plans, i.e. National Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), National Food System Pathways (NFSPs), national food security plans, etc. Reviewing the complementarities of these different global agreements and national-level plans could be useful in reducing institutional fragmentation;

● We appreciate the indication of inadequate valuation of true costs and benefits of food systems as one of the main barriers to transformation. As indicated in the Draft Results Framework, there has been great efforts in developing True Cost Accounting and other methodologies to properly address these. The True Cost Accounting Accelerator has been building a number of resources (tools, frameworks, implementation guidance, case studies, etc.) that can support the implementation of this approach;

● We also appreciate the focus on improving the accessibility and availability of financing to food system transformation, particularly by supporting viable business models for transition to sustainable practices. We have identified that there are enormous untapped opportunities to finance food system transformation from a climate perspective, and that there is an urgent need to align food system finance and climate objectives. Additionally, more emphasis could be placed on redirecting financial flows away from harmful practices, and working together to better align public and private finance, creating greater impact. This has been one of the focus of the discussions on finance at the conferences of the Sustainable Food System Programme of the One Planet Network;

● On knowledge barriers and outcomes for innovations, in 2022 we published the Politics of Knowledge, in which we asked 17 diverse contributor teams from around the world how they understand, document, and communicate evidence about agroecology, regenerative approaches, and Indigenous foodways. It squarely addresses the barriers and opportunities for researchers and other knowledge holders to contribute to informing policy for more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems. We invite reviewing the main findings of this effort, as they can support the use of broader sources of evidence while building knowledge management activities.

Commenting on Draft Results Framework, questions (3), (4) and (5):

● The collaboration framework and coalitions mentioned in 1.1 as possible intervention and outputs could also benefit from the extensive experiences of right to food coalitions, and national/sub-national food security and nutrition councils. The link between the food security and environment agendas are more than ever urgent and necessary, and complementaries between these different groups would only strengthen a more systemic food system transformation agenda;

● We invite the team to review the Systems Investment Assessment (SIA) tool produced by the Transformational Investing in Food Systems initiative (TIFS) as one possible methodology to support investment pathways toolkits indicated in 2.1. The SIA tool is based on the UNEP TEEBAgriFood evaluation framework and the Global Impact Investing Network’s Four Core Characteristics of Impact Investing and can be useful in facilitating comprehensive assessments of truly transformative investments.

Finally, responding to the question about inputs, advice, examples, and successful cases on:

● Scaling up approaches, policies, and sustainable/regenerative food system practices: we have been collecting several positive stories of food system transformation at different levels and topics. We particularly invite the team to review 14 stories on climate and food systems action and 6 examples of creative financing for food system transformation we published last year. Our Beacons of Hope Food Systems Transformation Toolkit summarizes some of the main levers of transformation identified in this study.

● Multi-stakeholder processes: the One Planet Network also reviewed 10 examples of sustainable food system multi-stakeholder processes, raising important lessons on participation, inclusivity, efficiency, and resilience of these mechanisms;

● Research gaps or innovations on food systems transformation: as indicated previously, the Politics of Knowledge report indicates 5 priorities pathways to address research gaps and needed innovations in supporting agroecological, regenerative and Indigenous food systems. We thank again for the opportunity to comment and we would be extremely grateful if we could be further informed about the development of this program.

Yours sincerely,

Global Alliance for the Future of Food