Press Releases, Systems Thinking

Statement: Food Systems Transformation Makes Progress at UN Summit

Food Systems Transformation Makes Progress at UN Summit; Advocates Win Commitment to the True Value of Food  

Thursday, September 23 – As the U.N. Food Systems Summit closed on Thursday, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food issued the following statement on behalf of Executive Director Ruth Richardson, who addressed delegates on behalf of the “Champions Network” of the UNFSS, a leading group of advocates and delegates pressing for transformational change: 

“I was honored to speak today on behalf of the Champions Network to underscore the urgency of global food systems change, and to make it clear that food systems transformation must be defined by five principles: equity, health, diversity, integrity and resilience, underpinned by the principle of agency so that all can fully participate in, and prosper from, food systems. 

With these principles at the centre of the agenda, food systems transformation advocates have built considerable momentum as we move on to COP26 and continue to take action that responds to the devastation wrought by the pandemic. We are excited about the many calls to action and progress made at the UNFSS on solutions like agroecology as a key lever to transform food systems. We’re also inspired by the heroic effort to uplift True Cost Accounting (TCA), and the growing support for TCA as a dynamic policy-making approach to assess and improve food systems.

We’re honored to be a part of the ambitious coalition for agroecology and the Initiative on the True Value of Food. We’ll also continue to support the True Cost Accounting Accelerator, which will carry forward progress on TCA too. We’re equally heartened by the growing understanding that: food justice is climate justice; that biodiversity loss, unsustainable land-use, and zoonotic disease are deeply interconnected; and that to achieve progress on climate at COP26 we need food systems transformation as a solution.” 

The Global Alliance for the Future of Food released a sign-on letter earlier this month calling for a “full and unequivocal commitment to True Cost Accounting” at the UNFSS and will be collaborating with leadership from the UNFSS2021 on the Initiative on the True Value of Food, announced as a coalition, which will work towards integrating strategies like True Cost Accounting into national food system plans.


The Global Alliance for the Future of Food is a strategic alliance of philanthropic foundations working together and with others to transform global food systems now and for future generations. We believe in the urgency of transforming global food systems, and in the power of working together and with others to effect positive change. Food systems reform requires new and better solutions at all scales through a systems-level approach and deep collaboration among philanthropy, researchers, grassroots movements, the private sector, farmers and food systems workers, Indigenous Peoples, government, and policymakers. 

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Kasia Murphy, Communications Director
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