IIED’s 'food year' blog series explores policies and practice to transform our food systems

In the lead up to the first ever global summit on food, IIED launches a new series of blogs to contribute to the debate about food systems transformation.

News, 22 June 2021
Food year: exploring the policies and practices to transform our food systems
A series of blogs shining a light on the critical issues for food policies around the 2021 Food Systems Summit
Street vendor selling vegetables

Food market in Port Victoria, Seychelles (Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The first ever UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) will take place in September 2021, during the UN General Assembly, and is expected to set the direction for food systems policy and investment for the coming decade.

The summit will cover five key action tracks: ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all; shifting to sustainable consumption patterns; boosting nature-positive production; advancing equitable livelihoods; and building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stress. 

Drawing on this, IIED’s new ‘food year’ blog series aims to illuminate discussions about the policy and practice of transforming food systems.

Over the coming months, experts from IIED and partner organisations will shine a light on some of the critical issues in food system transformation, raise awareness of IIED’s programmes of work on food systems, and amplify marginalised voices from the global South.

Food systems transformation is critical to achieve many of the SDGs, including SDG 2 ‘end hunger’, but the success of the summit in catalysing transformation depends on its ability to really engage poor, marginalised and vulnerable groups who have vital knowledge but are often left out of policy debates – Krystyna Swiderska, principal researcher in IIED's Natural Resources research group

Topics to be explored include food system governance, Indigenous peoples’ food systems, biocultural heritage and COVID-19, smallholders in global value chains and the debate around the land use footprint of food systems.

Kicking off the series is Molly Anderson, William R. Kenan Jr. professor of food studies at Middlebury College in Middlebury and a member of the International Panel of Experts in Sustainable Food Systems. Her blog discusses what needs to happen at the upcoming summit to get the world on track to genuinely transform our food system. 


Krystyna Swiderska ([email protected]) is principal researcher in IIED's Natural Resources research group.