New report: Food systems experts urge global shift towards diversified farming systems

We are pleased to hear that on the 2nd of June a new report was released by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food), urging for a global shift from industrial agriculture towards diversified, agroecological solutions. The report was shared at the 8th Trondheim conference on Biodiversity that was themed “Food systems for a sustainable future: interlinkages between biodiversity and agriculture”.

The report reviews and compares the global outcomes of industrial agriculture and diversified/agroecological systems. It critically analyses why industrial agriculture remains the dominant type of food production despite the mounting evidence that diversified food systems offer more sustainable solutions for the future of food. Lastly, it provides suggestions how a shift from industrial to agroecological food systems can be achieved.

Key messages were conveyed by Olivier De Schutter, former United Nations Special Rapporteur to the right to food, and co-chair of IPES-Food: “Many of the problems in food systems are linked specifically to the uniformity at the heart of industrial agriculture, and its reliance on chemical fertilizers and pesticides.”

According to the expert panel, a fundamental change in the way we measure success of food system outcomes is needed. Schutter states: “It is not a lack of evidence holding back the agroecological alternatives. It is the mismatch between its huge potential to improve outcomes across food systems, and its much smaller potential to generate profits for agribusiness firms.”

The Trondheim conference is held every year to foster scientifically informed dialogues for mainstreaming biodiversity across sectors. Its outcomes serve to advise the CBD in shaping its future agenda. The key messages of this year’s session will be transmitted to the Convention on Biodiversity’s 13th Conference of the Parties (CBD COP 13) to be held in Mexico in December 2016.

Read the full report

Read the executive summary

Read the key messages, also available in French and Spanish


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