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Agro-ecological transition : the iPES Food commitment

The iPES Food commitment

The International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems is a recent initiative fully funded by the philanthropic Carasso Foundation ( iPES Food aims at reforming the food systems in a systemic manner. Ten principles guide the initiatives and actions of iPES Food in reshaping the entire agro-food chain by integrating a range of knowledge and analysis capacities. The holistic and systemic approach has the ambition to identify the « lock-ins » that are driving hunger, obesity, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, the pressures that deteriorate smallholder livelihoods and drive cultural erosion, workforce exploitation, etc. As already discussed on political determinants of global health issues (read more here), food systems as a « political economy of food » reflect the present differential power of actors that influence decision making, multinational agribusiness firms in particular.

iPES Food has a sustainable approach to food systems being inclusive on environmental, health, social, cultural, and economic dimensions. Achieving the diversity, multi-functionality, and resilence of food systems implies strong, coordinated, and coherent shifts in agriculture, supply chains, and markets. The road to sustainable food systems explicitly means the realization of human rights of all and the empowerment of disadvantaged actors, and profound social innovations. Last but not least, continuous accountability and dedicated new sets of indicators in achieving the anticipated progress and change are considered.

To inform its upcoming reports, iPES Food is launching an e-consultation (call for contributions) on agroecological transitions by seeking inputs from a wide range of food systems actors. The contributions can be made in English, French, and Spanish. The deadline is December 11th.

The Institute is insisting on the importance of this initiative that makes participatory science-society a key factor of change in which food sytems and agriculture have a first-order role to play.

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This is not going to be easy. Business as usual lives inside each of us. With few exceptions. Goldman Prize winner Lynn Henning (2010, USA) is one of them. Her combat is America’s factory farm system known as ‘Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations’ (CAFOs). CAFOs are “large-scale feedlots where up to one million livestock such as chicken, cattle and pigs are confined for their entire lives to produce the majority of the meat, milk and eggs consumed in the U.S.” (and the significant waste and pollution that goes with it).
To find out more, take a look at

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Ioan Negrutiu, November 14, 2015

Publié ou mis à jour le 14 novembre 2015