Healthy planet, healthy people
Sustainable food allows people to have access to sufficient, affordable and healthy food that is produced sustainably, now and in the future. With an ever growing world population, sustainable food production is critical to ensure food security in the long run while maintaining our planet’s resources, and to counter the negative effects of climate change.
Healthy, affordable and nutritious food that is produced sustainably is vital for a green society. The world is indeed producing more food than ever; however, a growing world population and rising income levels, combined with serious natural resource degradation and climate change, pose enormous challenges to our global food system. Over 800 million people are unable to consistently access or afford adequate food, and several billion of the world’s population suffer from malnutrition, both undernutrition and obesity.
Currently the world wastes food on a large scale, depletes ecosystems, and erodes agro-biodiversity, all of which threatens our future food security. Both producers and consumers can be affected by climate impacts. We therefore need a radical rethinking of and change to the way we produce and consume food.
A growing world population and rising income levels, combined with serious natural resource degradation and climate change, pose enormous challenges to our global food system
Hivos strives for a world where all people have access to 100 percent sustainably produced food, now and in the future. To achieve this vision, we need to have early-stage food entrepreneurs – especially women – produce sustainable food products, services or products that specifically cater to the needs of smallholder producers and low-income consumers.
At the same time, to really speed up a shift towards more sustainable, diverse and healthy food production and consumption practices in urban areas and their surrounding countryside, we need government, civil society, and the private sector to act together to support successful initiatives. Building up resilience to increasing climate variability – both at community and ecosystem level – is a significant challenge for all involved.
The same holds true for getting international and national food policies to change. National and sub-national governments must be convinced to adopt policies and programs that promote sustainable food production and consumption.
We facilitate producers and consumers in making major changes in their food systems. As part of our three-step approach, we finance the development of technical and business skills among early-stage food entrepreneurs and link these entrepreneurs with potential investors.
We also convene generally excluded groups – such as small-scale producers, women, youth, and street vendors – to start initiatives to accelerate a shift towards more sustainable, diverse and healthy production and consumption practices. An innovative strategy of ours is setting up Food Change Labs that bring multiple stakeholders together to jointly develop local, national and international examples of how food systems can be transformed.
In addition, we use evidence generated by citizens to advocate with governments and international forums so their policies will promote diverse and healthy food, sustainable production methods, and enable the scaling of successful solutions.
This thematic area especially contributes to Sustainable Development Goal 2 (End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) and Goal 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns).