TMG Think Tank for Sustainability
FORESEE (4Cs) Report Series

FORESEE (4Cs) Report Series

Towards a joint strategy for agri-food system transformation

To build sustainable, resilient, healthy, and just agri-food systems, we need to urgently rethink the way we produce, distribute, and consume food. The multiple crises of climate change, Covid-19, armed conflicts, and soaring costs linked to social and environmental externalities (the "4 Cs") have reinforced existing weaknesses within the global food system. In particular, the functioning of agri-food system for the most vulnerable regions and people has been severely disrupted. Moreover, the dynamics unleashed by these four interlinked crises pose profound additional challenges for food system transformation process as they introduce variables that have not previously been considered within existing global governance frameworks. 

Hence, taking the 4 Cs as a starting point offers us both an opportunity and an impetus (a "perfect storm") to rethink possible pathways for agri-food system transformation. It enables us to look beyond short-term solutions that not only consistently fail to make our agri-food systems more resilient to multiple crises, but to preventing these crises in the first place.

Since the 4 Cs are global crises, proposed solutions require concerted and coherent efforts at both national and global levels. Given their shared focus on sustainability, we believe that the three "Rio Conventions" focusing, respectively on climate change (UNFCCC), biodiversity protection (CBD) and land restoration (UNCCD), could provide the basis for a coherent international policy framework to guide the design, implementation, financing and monitoring of transformative agri-food systems.

Following the introduction of “Food Days” at all three sessions of the Rio Conventions' Conferences of the Parties in 2022, we propose further exploring integrated entry points and transition pathways that can be spearheaded by the three Conventions. Such a coordinated approach must go beyond agreeing on the urgent need to transform our food systems, towards offering specific proposals on what needs to be done, and who should take responsibility for initiating action.

This new series of reports set out the possible scope and approach for such a collaborative, and long-term agenda for agri-food system transformation.

Achieving the right to food while transitioning to a more socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable future calls for nothing less than the transformation of our agri-food systems. This report series offers a systematic analysis of how to manage this transition.

Read the reports

The FORESEE (4C) series on The Transformation of Agri-Food Systems in Times of Multiple Crises, explores the current agri-food system in light of challenges linked to the four crises known as the 4 Cs (Climate, Covid-19, Conflict, and Cost of externalities) and offers recommendations on how to advance transformation efforts.  

Report 1, Current Conditions and Policy Frameworks of Agri-Food Systems Transformation, analyses the 4Cs and how they interact with the dynamics of the current agri-food systems. The report provides a general review of the international policy landscape in which the agri-food system transformation must find its place. Its main focus is on the three Rio Conventions and possible synergies between the fulfilment of the Rio mandate and a transformation of agri-food systems. 

Report 2, State of the Debate on Agri-Food Systems Transformation, reviews the state of the debate around agri-food systems transformation from the perspective of different organizations that represent a wide range of actors and stakeholders. The report provides an overview of the different proposed approaches to achieving the goals of agri-food system transformation aligned to the thematic areas of People, Planet, and Prosperity proposed at the United Nations Food Systems Summit in 2021. 

Report 3, Blind Spots in the Agri-Food System Transformation Debate and Recommendations on How to Address These, analyses the blind spots in the debate around agri-food systems transformation and describes how these hinder the transformation. Furthermore, this report offers recommendations on how to address these gaps to facilitate an agri-food system transformation aligned to the leading themes of People, Planet, and Prosperity. 

Report 4, The Agri-Food Systems Transformation Protocol - Mapping the Agents and Drivers of Transformation explores key actors and catalysts for agrifood systems transformation. It advocates for a multi-level governance approach, incorporating global agreements (primarily the three Rio Conventions - CBD, UNCCD, UNFCCC), national pathways, and implementation. The report further introduces a decision support tool to develop transformation pathways in different contexts and at different levels. 

The FORESEE (4C) series was developed under the Assessment and Communication of Climate Impacts of Food (CLIF) project, funded through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and implemented by WWF Germany, corsus and TMG. The project promotes sustainable consumption patterns and helps companies, policymakers, and consumers choose more sustainable options with regard to food. TMG's main contribution to the project is to develop a more systematic understanding of the transformation of agri-food systems through the publication of a series of strategic reports. Two additional reports will be published by the end of 2024.

FORESEE (4C) Report 4: The Agri-Food Systems Transformation Protocol - Mapping Agents and Drivers of Transformation

Report

FORESEE (4C) Report 4: The Agri-Food Systems Transformation Protocol - Mapping Agents and Drivers of Transformation

Exploring key actors and catalysts for agri-food systems transformation.

Written by Tavseef Mairaj Shah, Olivia Riemer, Nadia El-Hage Scialabba, Alexander Müller

Published on Dec 4, 2023

FORESEE (4C) Summary Report: The Transformation of Agri-Food Systems in Times of Multiple Crises

Report

FORESEE (4C) Summary Report: The Transformation of Agri-Food Systems in Times of Multiple Crises

Exploring equitable, healthy, resilient and sustainable pathways for agri-food transformation. This is a summary of the FORESEE (4C) series: Reports 1, 2, and 3.

Written by Tavseef Mairaj Shah, Olivia Riemer

Published on Apr 3, 2023

FORESEE (4C) Report 1: Current Conditions and Policy Frameworks of Agri-Food Systems Transformation

Report

FORESEE (4C) Report 1: Current Conditions and Policy Frameworks of Agri-Food Systems Transformation

Analysing the 4Cs and their interaction with agri-food systems

Written by Olivia Riemer, Tavseef Mairaj Shah, Sarah Zitterbarth

Published on Apr 3, 2023

FORESEE (4C) Report 2: State of the Debate on Agri-Food Systems Transformation

Report

FORESEE (4C) Report 2: State of the Debate on Agri-Food Systems Transformation

A multi-actor review of current debates around agri-food systems transformation.

Written by Nadia El-Hage Scialabba, Sarah Zitterbarth, Tavseef Shah

Published on Apr 3, 2023

FORESEE (4C) Report 3: Blindspots in the Debate on Agri-Food System Transformation

Report

FORESEE (4C) Report 3: Blindspots in the Debate on Agri-Food System Transformation

Analysing blind spots in the debate around agri-food systems transformation and how to address them.

Written by Patrick Caron, Maureen Gitagia, Michael Hamm, Ulrich Hoffman, Elizabeth Kimani-Murage, Tania Martinez-Cruz, Kathleen Merrigan, Pat Mooney, Olivia Riemer, Nadia El Hage Scialabba, Tavseef Mairaj Shah

Published on Apr 3, 2023

  • Assessment and Communication of Climate Impacts of Food (CLIF)
  • WWF Germany
  • Corsus

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