More sustainable food system could save a delicious $2.7tn a year

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation says the current industrial food system is “no longer fit for the 21st century”

Pathway to COP26 report

Different types of food

Transitioning to a circular food system could be worth $2.7 trillion a year by 2050.

So claims the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which suggests sourcing food grown regeneratively and locally, using by-products more effectively, preventing waste and designing healthier food could help make the savings.

It says the current industrial food system and associated business models are “no longer fit for the 21st century” and says new ways of producing and consuming food are required to protect biodiversity and human health.

It believes such a system could see food production improve rather than degrade the environment and give better access to healthy and nutritious food.

The savings would come in the form of a 4.3 billion tonne reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, $550 billion (£419bn) health cost savings associated with pesticide use and cities reducing edible food waste and making better use of food by-products, worth $700 billion (£534bn).

The organisation stresses this would require collaboration across the entire value chain and the connection of urban demonstration projects with businesses and charities.

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