What if food could build biodiversity and tackle climate change?

Fast-moving consumer goods companies (FMCGs) and retailers have the power to make nature-positive food that's good for farmers and business mainstream, writes the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

FMCGs and retailers have a substantial influence on the food system. For example, in the EU and UK, 40% of agricultural land is influenced by the top 10 FMCGs and retailers. Many of these players are currently part of the problem, but they can be and need to be part of the solution, given their size and influence.

FMCGs and retailers design what we eat – how it looks, how it tastes, and how good it is for us and for nature. Combining the principles of circular economy with food design, they can design food for nature to thrive.  Rather than bending nature to produce food, food can be designed for nature to thrive. By rethinking the ingredients they use and how they're produced, they can provide better choices for customers, farmers, and the environment.

Today, just four crops provide 60% of the world's calories, while many ingredients that could be used instead and have a lower impact are rarely used. A nature-positive food system requires a more diverse mix of plants and livestock and a better understanding of local contexts to function effectively.

Major FMCGs and retailers can catalyze this shift in the mix of crops and livestock at scale and pace by creating the demand for diverse ingredients, which most often means fundamentally redesigning their food product portfolios.

To do this, food designers can use the principles of the circular economy and apply them across all dimensions of food design, from product concept, through ingredient selection and sourcing, to packaging. 

Read the complete article at www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org.

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