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Beacons of hope: Sharing stories of food systems transformation

Environment Programme / Partner story

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

The creation of robust and sustainable food systems is not just reliant on more conscious consumption choices but is backed by a whole value chain of actors and industries. From the production, transportation, distribution, consumption, and disposal of the nutrients we depend on for sustenance, our food systems must ensure that they can provide a pathway for a better future.

The Global Alliance for the Future of Food is made up of philanthropic foundations collaborating on bold action across the planet to transform food systems and their impacts on climate change and food security. It seeks to ensure a better future for food and our planet, by transforming the way we source, cultivate and consume our meals.

Over a year into the Covid-19 pandemic, the Alliance turned its attention towards the individuals and initiatives that embody resilience and creative resistance in the face of crisis. It recently released “Beacons of Hope: Stories of Food Systems Transformation During Covid-19″, which shares stories of food systems initiatives and the people who responded to the challenges brought forth by the pandemic with creativity, adaptability, and resilience.

“These Beacons of Hope are as diverse as they are inspiring. Led by community groups, innovative policy-makers, and progressive private sector players, each initiative intervenes at a different point in the food system,” says Ruth Richardson, the executive director of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food. “Each initiative pushes back against prevailing narratives that shape discourse and thinking about the future of food.”

The report demonstrates that food systems can be reimagined to promote human, ecological, and animal health and wellbeing.

For example, Gastromotiva, is a Brazilian not-for-profit organisation that launched a network of Solidarity Kitchens where its students and alumni cooked in their homes and provided meals to vulnerable people living in their own communities. And Foodshare, a Canadian-based organisation that applied a food justice lens to its pandemic response, partners with community agencies and grassroots groups to ensure its alternative food infrastructure reaches communities most in need.

Learning from these encouraging stories, we see promising transformative systems brought forth by inspiring change agents who are leading the way to a sustainable future. Oak supports this work under our Environment Programme, where our new strategy supports efforts to ensure that food promotes health, biodiversity, human rights, and animal welfare, all while staying within the boundaries of our planet’s life support systems. You can read more about the programme strategy here.