With the backdrop of the global consensus on the need for food system transformation, we asked our internal global health and sustainability lead, Allison Pigatto, MS, RDN, to jot down a few thoughts on how different change agents work together to achieve SDGs.
The role of nutrition in sustainability
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlight the social, economic, and environmental factors needed to achieve peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. Many companies look to the SDGs to frame and benchmark their corporate and sustainability strategies. While good nutrition is inherently present in the SDGs (SDG2 - Zero Hunger, SDG3 - Good Health and Well-Being), it is not always top of mind for companies looking to make an impact on sustainable development.
However, the importance of sustainable nutrition for global health has never been more relevant. In the last three years, international conflict, climate-related crises, and a worldwide pandemic have spotlighted weaknesses in the global food system and the consequences for health and wellbeing. The Global Report on Food Crises found that 193 million people are experiencing acute food insecurity in 2021, the highest level recorded. Additionally, over 40% of all men and women are overweight or obese. Consumers, governments, and public health organizations are looking to change the way food is produced, packaged, and consumed. In short, the world is calling for a food system transformation.
Food system transformation starts with benchmarking and self-assessment
With so many complex issues at play, where should a food company start when it comes to making changes? In 2021, the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) published the Food and Agriculture Benchmark, which provides rankings on 350 companies based on topics central to achieving the SDGs and transforming food systems. This benchmark provides an overview of the company’s impact on governance, society, environment, and nutrition. This holistic approach provides a natural starting point for meaningful system change and a framework that companies can use to assess their nutrition-focused goals and commitments, including:
- Availability of healthy foods
- Accessibility and affordability of healthy foods
- Clear and transparent labeling
- Responsible marketing
- Workforce nutrition
- Food safety
At Eat Well Global, we believe that good nutrition is good business, and the WBA Food and Agriculture Benchmark can guide companies in developing commitments that address people, planet, and profit. This is why we are proud to be an official ally of the WBA, as we are working together on developing impactful initiatives that drive positive change in our global food systems.
Interested in learning more about the WBA’s Food and Agriculture Benchmark or assessing how your company can make an impact on sustainable development through nutrition?
Contact Allison via email for more information, and sign up for our monthly newsletter, the Sustainable Digest, which offers a recap on the need-to-know updates around healthy and sustainable food systems.
About the Author
Allison Pigatto, MS, RDN
Allison is a nutrition communicator with global expertise in sustainable food systems. With strong experience on global health strategy development including nutrition guidelines, FOPNL implementation and goals articulation, she excels at connecting the dots between the nutritional, social, environmental, and regulatory dimensions of food, and bridges the gap between theory and practice.