Hivos International

Sustainable Diets for All

Although there is sufficient food in the world to feed all, there are still 900 million hungry people. In addition, more than one billion people worldwide are overweight and obese, and another two billion are suffering from micronutrient deficiencies. 

A diverse food system builds on the productivity and nutrition potential of agricultural biodiversity in food systems rather than bringing diversity into the hands of a few corporations. It enables women and men to use and develop their knowledge to further improve the diversity in production and consumption systems.

In January 2016, Hivos together with IIED launched a 5-year strategic partnership with the Dutch Government to transform the food system and promote sustainable diets.

Sustainable diets are healthy and diverse, respectful of ecosystems, culturally acceptable and economically fair and affordable for all. Together with civil society organisations, the programme aims to influence the policies and practices of governments and the private sector.

Some of the key strategies that the programme seeks to implement:

  • Reclaiming diversity in food systems using indigenous seeds
  • Building climate smart foods systems using sufficient water and balancing nutrients
  • Promoting dietary diversity through consumers’ choice and voice
  • Improving transparency in food systems
  • Leveraging for public investments for sustainable diets

The programme supports civil society organizations to increase their capacity to influence policy and practices of market and government actors through citizen research, action and related advocacy to promote sustainable diets for all.

The programme also supports civil society organisations to work with frontrunner movements, companies, local governments and the media to generate change at both the producer and consumer level. It will engage with farmers, food vendors, governments, private sector and other civil society organisations to create coalitions of the willing for resilient and diverse regions and cities.

As women play a key role in our food system, awareness raising and empowerment of women is an important part of the programme to create more demand for healthy and sustainable food and to increase the access to markets and supply of these products.

The programme is running in Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa.