Food systems activities (including producing, processing, distributing and consuming food) have changed dramatically over recent decades. These changes have significantly reduced the proportion of the global population who do not have enough calories, but about one billion people are still hungry and over two billion people still do not have sufficient nutrients to lead a healthy life. Paradoxically, over two and a half billion people are now consuming too much. Meanwhile, all food system activities contribute to degrading the natural resources upon which our food security depends. How can food systems be better managed to improve food security and health outcomes with lower environmental ‘footprint’, while maintaining vibrant enterprises and livelihood opportunities? And how can we build the new professions needed to do this?
The ECI has an internationally-recognised track record in food systems research, with special emphasis on the interactions with environmental change. Key strengths include using a food systems lens for research and training on food security issues, and developing research partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders including business, policy, development agencies, NGOs and academia at large.
To use an integrated food systems approach and innovative methods and tools to help a wide range of stakeholders develop and implement enhanced food system policy and practice. Research is aimed at delivering outcomes better balanced across food security, livelihoods and enterprise, and environmental goals.
Many people agree that food production and animal rearing contributes to environmental problems, but there is less unanimity as to the causes of these problemGarnett, T. (2015) Gut feelings and possible tomorrows: (where) does animal farming fit? FCRN research report