The shifts needed for a transformation of food systems

At Forum for the Future, Lesley Mitchell, their Director of Sustainable Nutrition, explains what a regenerative future of food might look like, why it’s vital to achieve it, and some of the transformations needed to get there.

It is now widely recognized that food and agriculture are at the heart of the world’s deepest environmental and health challenges – from climate change, soil degradation and crashing biodiversity to mal- and over-nutrition. […]

A ‘regenerative’ approach conjures a vision of new life, renewal, something becoming a better incarnation of itself. And in terms of food and farming, that’s exactly what it means – enabling viable, thriving food production using practices that work with nature, support carbon sequestration and renew soils and biodiversity.

Be sure to click through for the longer descriptions but quickly, the six transformations are: adopt techniques that are ‘regenerative’ and self-sustaining; create innovative models and structures, capable of uprooting current practice; focus on production of nutrition and consequent public health outcomes; create resilient production systems; create just distribution of value; and harness modern technology and insights.

[A] shift to distributed and more diverse production systems suited to regional landscapes, and away from intensive, high input driven monoculture cropping

Reading through that list, you might have the same two feelings I had: “what a wonderful vision,” and “we are so far from that, what chance to we have?” Mitchell ends on a positive note, and believes that the momentum is here.

The momentum for change is palpable and we are going to need to sprint faster to meet the demands of the climate crisis. Whether as a consumer, producer, retailer, distributor, investor or innovator – we all have a role to play in delivering the deep transformational change that’s so urgently needed – and so long overdue.