The Unique Role of Governments in Food Systems Governance

In a perfect world, functional food systems would provide multiple benefits for everyone, including healthy diets, environmental sustainability, and improved livelihoods . Unfortunately, we live in a far from perfect world. Over three billion people cannot afford a healthy diet, some 735 million people face hunger, and obesity rates are on the rise . Food production accounts for over one third of global greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time is negatively affected by declining availability of fresh
water and biodiversity . Many of those working in food systems are poorly paid and struggle to make ends meet. To reverse these negative trends, food systems transformation is necessary. This is crucial to meet global goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set for 2030, the 2025 World Health Assembly targets, and climate and biodiversity goals set out in Conferences of Parties (COPs).