Commitments to action

Empowering and Mobilising Consumers Within Food Systems to Deliver Sustainability

Consumers International

Only 53% of countries are fulfilling the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection ‘priority areas of essential concern for the health of the consumer’. Only 30% of countries have a sustainable consumption plan. Few countries engage consumers and consumer rights into the food system in a coherent manner. Policies, practices, and institutions which empower consumers and consumer rights are siloed, under-resourced, and inadequately enforced, and consumer engagement as a force for innovation is under-utilised. As a result, consumers are distrustful of change, disengaged from behavioural changes needed for net-zero, and under-served by the marketplace. Consumers who are more empowered and engaged in the future of food systems will have a greater stake in building this future. Our solution is to strengthen the voice of consumers in the development of healthy and sustainable food systems and to reinforce the levers of consumer protection and empowerment as a means for food systems transformation. This includes:

  1. Strengthening the role of consumers and consumer rights in policy-making and standard-setting.
  2. Creating institutions and mechanisms which effectively identify and address consumer harms
  3. Incubating and scaling up sources of innovation from consumer empowerment and engagement (e.g. data stewardship, product design, and supply chain solutions).

We need to ensure that consumer voices are heard in national, regional, and international decision-making on food systems. Policies and standards that are informed by a strong and independent consumer voice are more likely to enhance consumers’ motivation and capacity to change behaviours. Businesses need to see consumer rights and empowerment as a tool for product design, enabling more agile and innovative decision-making. Finally, siloed problem-solving needs to be replaced by a more holistic approach, for example by bringing consumers and farmers together in dialogue.


Civil society

Action Area(s)

Means of Implementation



Key contact

Charlie Worthington, Consumers International
[email protected]




Related commitments

A Global Coalition for Digital Food Systems

The Innovation Lever – Data & Digital Working Group will build on the momentum of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) and put its shared vision into practice through a Global Coalition of public, private, and non-profit organizations committed to responsible digital innovation in food systems.

Read More »

Good Food SME Hub

The Good Food SME Hub is the virtual home for small businesses that are making food more nourishing, sustainable, resilient, and equitable.

Read More »

Governance: Food Policy Forum for Change

In line with the objectives of the “Coalition of governments for food systems transformation through policy reform” (Solution Cluster 6.1.2), Biovision Foundation will continue to support peer-to-peer exchange among governments on how to successfully align food system-related policies with sustainable development goals.

Read More »

True Value of Food Initiative

The Initiative on the True Value of Food represents a community of experienced experts who stand ready to support country efforts to consider, trial, implement and evaluate true cost, value and price of food actions and policy change.

Read More »

Stop Wasting Food Movement

To lead, initiate and participate in local, national, and international projects, events, campaigns, charity projects, research projects, debates, and many other activities with a common goal to fight against food losses and food waste and to raise awareness about the fight food losses and food waste.

Read More »