By 2050, an estimated 80% of all food will be destined for our global cities. To understand how we can make the food systems of our cities sustainable, resilient, and diverse our guest today is Emma Chow – the Project Lead for the Food Initiative at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
The Ellen MacArthur Foundation was launched in 2010 to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. In 2019, they launched a food initiative focused on convening food brands, producers, retailers, governments, innovators, and waste managers to redesign the food system serving cities to:
London, São Paulo and NYC have signed on as flagship cities to show what is possible. Join us in a wide-ranging conversation as we discuss the role of cities as power nodes in the food system as well as a circular vision for the future and the practical next steps for getting there. Whether you are a citizen, entrepreneur, policymaker, or researcher, there are clear actions for you!
I was on 6 different food production farms throughout Europe, which was my chance to get hands-on with the food system. It was a total “aha moment” on how broken our food system is as well as the questions that need to be answered to fix it.
Circular economy is a framework of three principles 1) designing out waste and pollution 3) keeping materials and products in use at their highest values as long as possible 3) regenerating natural systems. We’re creating an evidence-based vision of what a circular food system in cities can be.
We can step back and say the entire food system is healthy and fit to function long term. Right now, we’re in a system that has negative impact on human health, natural environmental systems, and the economy. We can fundamentally redesign the system so that just the act of eating has a net positive impact.
With food you can’t create a universal blueprint, its limited by landscape, culture, and identity.
We’re demonstrating on the ground solutions in London, Sao Paolo, and New York City to create platforms for collaboration as well as be an inspiration for what can be done.
The vision overall is for a healthy food system that helps to tackle climate change and build biodiversity instead of significantly contributing to greenhouse gasses and the destruction of habitats.
Food is designed. Food AND its environment is designed.
Right now, there are solutions out there but they are largely fragmented. What’s missing is the digital capability to see the big, interconnected vision at scale.
There aren’t any cities out there who really know their food flows including what types are coming in, where food is coming from, and how is it grown.
Who do we need to convene? Who are the power nodes in the system who are capable of catalyzing change and putting pressure on the other systems players to get them to change?
Underlying everything is mindset.
It’s a huge challenge to get information to flow throughout the supply chain.
Who Ellen MacArthur is!