From Plate to Planet: How local governments are driving action on climate change through food

As governments ready to gather at COP28, IPES-Food urges them to stop neglecting food systems in their climate pledges (NDCs) and to pay attention to the pioneering emissions-slashing efforts of cities and regions. Our report shows how local governments are driving forward policies on food and climate through dozens of inspiring examples on the ground.

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Read the summary ( EN | FR | ES )

Who’s Tipping the Scales?

Who decides what you eat? In the third of our briefing note series on food systems governance, IPES-Food documents a history of growing corporate influence over our food. We examine the power imbalances in decisions over the food we eat, and propose transformative solutions to democratize food decision-making to serve the public interest. 

Read the briefing note ( EN | FR | ES )

Breaking the Cycle of Unsustainable Food Systems, Hunger, and Debt: A special report

This special report shows how today's unsustainable and inequitable food systems are a key contributor to a spiralling debt crisis. Import dependencies, extractive financial flows, boom-bust commodity cycles, and climate-vulnerable food systems are combining to destabilize the finances of the world's poorest countries. It calls for comprehensive debt relief in tandem with food system transformation.

Read the special report ( EN FR ES )

Read a one page summary for policymakers ( EN )  

Smoke & Mirrors: Examining competing framings of food system sustainability

In the battle of ideas over the future of food systems, three concepts, ‘agroecology’, ‘nature-based solutions’, and ‘regenerative agriculture’, are competing for attention. In this briefing note, IPES-Food unpacks the use of these three concepts in international food, climate and biodiversity summits. We find that while ‘nature-based solutions’ is gaining traction, it lacks definition or a transformative vision. By contrast ‘agroecology’ was less recognized, but offers a more comprehensive pathway towards food system sustainability.

Read the briefing note ( EN | FR | ES )
Read the background study ( EN )

Another Perfect Storm? How the failure to reform food systems has allowed the war in Ukraine to spark a third global food price crisis in 15 years, and what can be done to prevent the next one.

With the invasion of Ukraine sparking a third food price crisis in 15 years, this Special Report takes stock of the critical factors fanning the flames of global hunger - and what can be done about them. The report blames fundamental flaws in global food systems - such as heavy reliance on food imports and excessive commodity speculation - for escalating food insecurity sparked by the Ukraine invasion. These flaws were exposed, but not corrected, after previous food price spikes in 2007-8. IPES-Food calls for short term relief as well as more diverse and resilient food systems to help prevent further crises.

Read the special report ( EN | FR | ES )

April 2022 | Meat & Protein

The Politics of Protein: Examining claims about livestock, fish, ‘alternative proteins’ & sustainability

This major report by IPES-Food sheds light on misleading generalisations that dominate public discussion about meat and protein, and warns of the risks of falling for meat techno-fixes. With meat and protein firmly in the spotlight, big meat, dairy and seafood companies are fast rolling out a range of technologies - such as plant-based alternatives, lab-grown meat, and precision livestock and fish-farming - with the backing of governments worldwide. IPES-Food calls for a shift in focus away from protein hype towards a transformation to sustainable food systems.

Read the report  ( EN | FR | ES | PT )
Read the infosheet (EN) 
Executive Summary ( EN | FR | ES | PT )

July 2021 | Global Governance

An 'IPCC for food'? How the UN Food Systems Summit is being used to advance a problematic new science-policy agenda

In this briefing note, IPES-Food warns that the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) is being used to advance a new mode of decision-making that could exclude many voices in food systems. A small but influential group of actors has long been demanding the creation of a new panel – an ‘IPCC for Food’ – to streamline decisions on the future of food systems. On the eve of the UNFSS Science Days, where the idea will be showcased, IPES-Food underlined the importance of science-based decision-making. However, the briefing note warned that the new panel – as planned – risks imposing a narrow view of science, and shutting down democratic debate.

Read the Brief ( EN | FR | ES )


13 Key Principles of Agroecology: A unifying framework for food systems transformation

In the face of ongoing attempts to co-opt sustainable agriculture, more than 800 international organizations, NGOs, farming groups, and experts unite to warn against ‘greenwashing’ at UN Food Systems Summit, and call for true sustainability in agriculture. The Call sees proponents of agroecology, organic, and regenerative agriculture unite around the 13 principles of food system transformation set out by the High-Level Panel on Food Security and Nutrition in a landmark 2019 report.

Read the call: EN | FR |ES 
See the signatories

A Long Food Movement: transforming food systems by 2045

In this report, IPES-Food and the ETC Group map out two very different futures for food systems, people and planet. What do the next 25 years look like under 'agribusiness-as-usual'? Food systems in the hands of data platforms and e-commerce giants? More environmental degradation and biodiversity collapse? Or do civil society and social movements reclaim the initiative? We imagine what a 'Long Food Movement' could achieve by 2045 if these movements succeed in collaborating more closely than ever – to transform financial flows, governance structures and food systems from the ground up.

Read the Full Report ( EN | FR | ES ) | FAQs (EN)
Read the Executive Summary ( EN | FR | ES ) 

October 2020 | Global Governance | EU

EU Trade Policy for Sustainable Food Systems

The European Union (EU) has committed to supporting the global transition to more sustainable food systems. As the world’s largest food importer, the EU can use its trade policies and agreements to stimulate and incentivise more sustainable practices by its trade partners. In this brief, by IPES-Food and the European Centre for Development  Policy Management (ECDPM), we provide specific recommendations on how the EU can do so.

Read the brief ( EN )

The Added Value(s) of Agroecology: Unlocking the potential for transition in West Africa

West Africa has all the ingredients to become the epicenter of the global agroecology movement, and one of the frontrunners in transition to sustainable and equitable food systems. Through a three-year participatory research process, IPES-Food identified eight key obstacles to agroecology in West Africa, but also four leverage points where sustained action could accelerate the agroecological transition in the region.

Read the Full Report ( EN | FR ) 
Read the Executive Summary ( EN | FR ) 

Money Flows: what is holding back investment in agroecological research for Africa?

In collaboration with Biovision and the Institute of Development Studies, IPES-Food analyses the all-important financial flows in food system research that go to sub-Saharan Africa. Our new data shows that only a fraction of agricultural research funding in Africa is being used to transform food and farming systems.

Read the Full Report EN ) 
Read the Executive Summary ( EN | FR | ES | DE

COVID-19 and the Crisis in Food Systems

This special report by IPES-Food takes stock of the first 100 days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has laid bare the underlying risks, fragilities, and inequities in global food systems, and pushed them close to breaking point. The report (in English, French and Spanish) looks at the symptoms and causes of the food crisis, and the structural changes now needed to protect people and planet. 

Read the Special Report ( EN | FR | ES )

February 2019 | EU

Towards a Common Food Policy for the EU

This report argues for a Common Food Policy for the European Union: a policy setting a direction of travel for the whole food system, bringing together the various sectoral policies that affect food production, processing, distribution, and consumption, and refocusing all actions on the transition to sustainability. The Common Food Policy vision draws on the collective intelligence of more than 400 farmers, food entrepreneurs, civil society activists, scientists and policymakers consulted through a three-year process of research and deliberation.

Read the Full Report ( EN | ES )
Read the Executive Summary ( EN | ES | FR | IT | DE )

October 2018 | Agroecology

Breaking away from industrial food and farming systems: Seven case studies of agroecological transition

How have farmers, entrepreneurs, social movements, and innovative political actors managed to move away from or circumvent industrial agriculture and move towards a sustainable food system? This report describes seven case studies of agroecological transition to draw insights on how the lock-ins of industrial food systems can be overcome, where the key leverage points for transition are located, and how transition towards sustainable food and farming systems can be best supported.

Read the full report EN | ES )
Read the executive summary ( EN )

October 2017 | Agribusiness

Too big to feed: Exploring the impacts of mega-mergers, consolidation and concentration of power in the agri-food sector

Dominant agri-food firms have become too big to feed humanity sustainably, too big to operate on equitable terms with other food system actors, and too big to drive the types of innovation we need. This reports assesses the current state of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity across the food system, and identifies the risks arising from unprecedented consolidation at every node of the agri-food chain.

Read the full report ( EN )
Read the short version ( EN | ES )
Read the executive summary ( EN )


October 2017 | Health & Resilience

Unravelling the Food–Health Nexus: Addressing practices, political economy, and power relations to build healthier food systems

Industrial food and farming systems are making people sick in a variety of ways, and are generating staggering human and economic costs. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the many interconnected ways in which food systems affect human health, why these negative impacts are systematically reproduced, and why certain problems are not politically prioritized. 

Read the full report ( EN | FR | ES )
Read the executive summary ( EN | FR | ES )

What makes urban food policy happen? Insights from five case studies

Cities are rising as powerful agents of change by finding innovative ways of putting sustainable food policies in place. Through a series of five case studies, this report provides insights into the factors that enable the development and delivery of urban food policies, how these enablers can be harnessed, and how barriers can be overcome. 

Read the full report ( EN | ES )
Read the executive summary ( EN )

From Uniformity to Diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems

Input-intensive crop monocultures and industrial-scale feedlots must be consigned to the past in order to put global food systems onto sustainable footing. This report made the case for a paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems and identifies the 8 ‘lock-ins’ holding back transition.  

Read the full report ( EN | FR | CN)
Read the executive summary ( EN )
Read the key messages ( EN | FR | ES)

May 2015

The New Science of Sustainable Food Systems: Overcoming Barriers to Food Systems Reform

Who holds the power to shape food systems, and who sets the terms of debate when it comes to reforming them? IPES-Food's first report proposes a new analytical lens for food systems, and makes the case for reaching beyond the traditional bounds of the scientific community in conducting this analysis. 

Read the full report ( EN | ES )

Read the 10 Principles of Sustainable Food Systems Reform ( EN )