Nestlé and Danone are among the slew of companies joining forces with a new Ellen MacArthur Foundation Food initiative.
Announced at the EAT Forum held this week in Stockholm, the initiative aims to develop circular economy solutions to the problems of today’s food system.
In three Flagship Cities – London, New York, and São Paulo – the Foundation will lead major food system projects to demonstrate how a circular economy vision for food can be achieved at scale.
The three-year initiative is supported by Philanthropic Partner Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
“By joining forces in this way, cities, and the businesses and people in them, can transform the global food system,” said Dr Clementine Schouteden, Ellen MacArthur Foundation Food initiative lead.
“We can grow food in ways that support ecosystems instead of damaging them. Food would be sourced locally, when it makes sense, and we would make the most of it, avoiding edible waste and using organic by-products to improve soil health.
“This is a unique opportunity to create a system which helps to tackle the climate crisis, restore biodiversity, improve human health, and reconnect people with their food, while creating new business opportunities.”
As set out in the Foundation’s report ‘Cities and Circular Economy for Food’, the benefits of this approach include reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by 4.3 billion tonnes of CO2 a year, the equivalent of taking one billion cars off the road permanently, and avoiding the degradation of 15 million hectares of arable land per year.
It could also lead to significant reductions on antimicrobial resistance, air pollution, water contamination and foodborne diseases. Cities can unlock an opportunity of $700 billion by reducing edible food waste and by cycling by-products and organic materials.