The true cost of food – from shifting markets to informing policy
Discussing how food system approaches, particularly True Cost Accounting, can provide holistic assessments of the negative externalities and positive benefits of different interventions
True Cost Accounting (TCA) is a tool that can reveal the externalities related to food production and consumption, and serve as a basis to internalize these impacts (both positive and negative), and foster the most sustainable behaviours and practices. The “hidden costs” of global food systems are estimated to be US$19.8 trillion annually with $12 trillion from health costs. These costs stem from diet-related chronic diseases, impacts of climate change, and unfair wages. Often, these costs are borne by the least advantaged segments of society (e.g., smallholder farmers, youth, women, Indigenous Peoples, people of colour, marginalized communities). By applying the right incentives, these costs can be mitigated to ensure that food systems create real value for society. This session will discuss how food system approaches, particularly True Cost Accounting, can provide holistic assessments of the negative externalities and positive benefits of different interventions, thus elucidating evidence that leads to the improvement of food system strategies and policies.
Read more about our work on True Cost Accounting as a Policy Tool.
Forum for the Future of Agriculture
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)