Commitments to action

True Value of Food Initiative

Scientific Group of the UNFSS & Action Track 1, Scientific Group, GAIN, FAO, GAFF, Impact Institute, Rabobank, World Benchmark Initiative, WBCSD

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.

The global food system has many hidden costs, including high rates of diet-related chronic disease, the impacts of climate change, and unfair wages that are not included in prices and profits that are ignored by markets. The global food system also has many hidden benefits that are also not fully reflected in food prices: healthy food is a basic need with many economic and social benefits, and well-functioning food systems allow farmers and workers to earn a decent livelihood. By creating transparency about the costs and benefits and applying appropriate incentives and disincentives across food systems, we can ensure more sustainable, healthful, and fairer food systems in the future and create real value for economic growth, society and businesses.

The UNFSS Scientific Group’s paper on the topic provides the estimation of these costs at the global level. While preparation for the UNFSS has highlighted the urgency for action on these hidden costs and benefits. This action will include developing a new economic basis for decision making – one that accounts for the True Value of Food. This new basis will guide the decisions made by – consumers, businesses, financial institutions, investors, and policy-makers towards more positive outcomes for people, the planet and prosperity.

This new basis includes three elements:

  • True Cost Accounting (TCA) to systematically quantify and value impacts and dependencies across the full agri-food value chain to enable decision-making and policies based on true value.
  • True Value business strategies to develop and implement successful business models that create true value for society.
  • True pricing policies to internalize the externalities to make healthy and sustainable food more affordable and align market incentives with true value through market-based pathways, regulatory and income policies.

Integrating these elements into national food systems plans and creating a supportive policy environment for the implementation of strategies and actions to protect our people, planet, and prosperity will require coordinated action by all food systems stakeholders. The True Value of Food Initiative stands ready to support governments, businesses, and civil society in considering these approaches, sharing experiences, and implementing changes for fairer, more sustainable, and healthy food systems. See https://bit.ly/3tZnFnU for more information.

Constituency

Member state(s)

Action Area(s)

Means of Implementation

Location

Global

Key contact

Lawrence Haddad and Joachim von Braun supported by Sheryl Hendriks and Adrian de Groot-Ruiz, Scientific Group of the UNFSS & Action Track 1
[email protected]

Keywords

True value
True cost accounting
True price

Downloads

Related commitments

Transformation Leaders Network

In the year of the UN-led Food Systems Summit, the TLN Partner Organizations worked on the re-launch of a next generation of the Transformation Leaders Network – drawing from the previous experience of the New Vision for Agriculture – to serve as a dynamic and agile community of systems leaders poised to accelerate the transformation towards a more nutritious, sustainable, and equitable food system.

Read More »

Smallholder and Agri-SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN)

SAFIN is the only global multi-stakeholder network in the domain of finance for investment by small and medium-sized enterprises in agricultural supply chains – or agri-SMEs. It provides a space for different actors in this domain to learn from each other, address strategic knowledge gaps and identify opportunities to work together on transformative initiatives in agri-SME finance.

Read More »

Mission ADA (Digital Agriculture in Action)

“Mission ADA” (Digital Agriculture in Action) is an initiative led by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA) to promote the digital transformation of the America´s agriculture sector.

Read More »

100 Million Farmers

This platform seeks to reach 100 million farmers by 2030 with nature-positive innovation through a multi-stakeholder platform to increase investment in innovation for nature positive production and action at the country-level.

Read More »

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 »