We aim to make visible the full costs of food by investing in efforts to identify, measure, and value the positive and negative environmental, social, and health externalities of food and agricultural systems, and to deploy innovative strategies to effect associated policy and market change.
Through our work on True Cost Accounting (TCA), we aim to see:
- TCA established as a scientifically validated approach that informs policy and practice toward healthy and sustainable food systems amongst governments, farmers, corporations, the finance and investment community, and other relevant stakeholders.
- A robust global dialogue on the importance and potential of TCA for food systems that strengthens TCA’s systemic approach (including climate, health, agroecology), and the utilization of shared frameworks and tools to inform decision-making.
- TEEBAgriFood actively applied to business analyses, dietary comparisons, farm typologies, policy analyses, and national or corporate accounting, informing and informed by the broader TCA work of Global Alliance member foundations.
Highlights from our TCA work include:
TEEBAgriFood Evaluation Framework As a cornerstone of our work on True Cost Accounting, the Global Alliance supports TEEBAgriFood, a project housed at the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), and led by The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) Office. TEEBAgriFood seeks to provide a comprehensive economic evaluation of the “eco-agri-food systems” complex, and to demonstrate that the economic environment in which farmers operate is distorted by significant externalities, both negative and positive, and a lack of awareness of dependency on natural, human, and social capital. The Global Alliance has supported the development of the TEEBAgriFood Evaluation Framework and associated reports.
TEEBAgriFood Applications The Global Alliance is investing in the practical application of the TEEBAgriFood Evaluation Framework, including the first three studies: maize in Malawi; corn systems in the Mississippi Basin, USA; and, a study on metrics and methodologies with farmers in the UK. We are also exploring opportunities to apply the TEEBAgriFood framework to animal agriculture systems arising from our work on livestock production and meat consumption.
True Cost Accounting Community of Practice The Global Alliance for the Future of Food initiated a True Cost Accounting Community of Practice with some of the leading TCA practitioners in the field to: 1) encourage networking, learning, and collective action; 2) engage in deeper explorations of various methodologies and applications; and 3) identify tools for implementation of TCA in food systems, including pricing, policy change, and on-farm decision-making.
True Cost Accounting Knowledge Hub The Global Alliance for the Future of Food is exploring the potential of a global knowledge hub for True Cost Accounting to inventory and assess different approaches, identify methodologies and metrics for TCA, and scale up the application of True Cost Accounting across the food system.
Global Alliance supported publications and activities: