This World Food Day came at a critical inflection point for our food systems. There is broad recognition that the way we eat now is failing to protect our health and the health of the planet. Despite enough food being produced annually to feed the world, 811 million people still go hungry and 3 billion people do not have access to healthy diets, numbers that were made worse by Covid-19 disruptions. The food system is also one of the largest contributors to climate change, with 25% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from food production. Further, the system does not deliver fair returns to the people who provide our food. In sub-Saharan Africa, smallholder farmers account for 90 percent of food production, yet many farmers barely produce enough food to feed their families.

Despite these sobering facts, we believe that we can forge a path to a better food future. In September, The UN Food Systems Summit, the first of its kind, brought world leaders together to imagine how food systems can better serve all people, and protect the earth, for generations to come. The most valuable outcomes were the collaboration and recognition that food connects to everything in our lives including our planetary, community, and individual health; and acknowledgement by leaders from around the globe that the system is in desperate need of an overhaul.

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