As the world prepares for the landmark UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) on 23 September 2021, the World Business council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) has partnered with EAT, FAIRR, Food Systems for the Future, and UNEP to convene a first-of-its-kind finance network. The Good Food Finance Network brings together financial institutions across the public, private and multilateral sectors, from all regions of the world, to raise ambition and drive action on food systems transformation. C-suite leaders from financial institutions in the public, private, and multilateral sectors – including Rabobank, JP Morgan Chase, S2G Ventures, AMERRA, the World Bank, IFAD, and others – gathered for a high-level roundtable to mark its launch. The Network will support the outcomes of the Finance Lever of UNFSS, through a process of collaborative multisectoral innovation.
Finance has a critical role in driving the transition towards healthier and more sustainable, equitable food systems. Currently, food systems directly contribute to 30% of the world’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, threaten 86% of at-risk species, deny 3 billion people affordable access to regular, safe, and nutritious food, and leave 690 million people chronically hungry.
However, food systems also offer promising economic opportunities. If allocated correctly, public and private sector investments in sustainable food systems could cultivate an estimated USD $4.5 trillion per year in sustainable business opportunities by 2030. If food finance continues as business-as-usual though, there is a risk of widespread destabilization of not just food systems, but the financial system itself. Sectors representing nearly half of global GDP (around $44 trillion) are directly dependent on nature, and are now threatened by food systems in unprecedented ways. Additionally, the cost of malnutrition, in terms of lost national productivity and economic growth, ranges from 2% to 11% of GDP worldwide.
The investments needed to transform food and land use systems are estimated at USD $300-350 billion a year until 2030. These are big figures, but they are dwarfed by the commitments made to COVID-19 recovery, for example. More importantly, they are dwarfed by the enormous business opportunities in sustainable, healthy, equitable food investments, and the societal value that these investments can unleash.
Peter Bakker, WBCSD President and CEO, said: “By working together, the Good Food Finance Network will bring sustainable food systems to the heart of the finance agenda, supporting the transition to more sustainable practices and accelerating the global transformation towards an equitable, net-zero and nature-positive food system that can nourish all people.”
Convening a Leaders’ Group and working with technical expert Catalyst Groups, the Network is a go-to platform for collaborative innovation toward financing food systems transformation needed to meet global sustainability, health, and climate imperatives. Members will work together to develop the critical innovations to help mainstream sustainable food systems finance.
About The Good Food Finance Network
The Good Food Finance Network is convened by EAT Foundation, FAIRR, Food Systems for the Future, UN Environment Programme and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The Network works in close collaboration with the World Bank, Rabobank, S2G Ventures, UNEP FI, PRI, the GEF, JRT, and other supporting partners. It will build on and take forward the finance outcomes of the UN Food Systems Summit, and is currently working to develop a multi-year Action Agenda to develop, deploy, and mainstream finance for healthy, sustainable food systems, providing a single go-to platform for finance leaders to engage on food systems transformation.