July 2021 | Global Governance

An 'IPCC for food'? How the UN Food Systems Summit is being used to advance a problematic new science-policy agenda

In this briefing note, IPES-Food warns that the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) is being used to advance a new mode of decision-making that could exclude many voices in food systems. A small but influential group of actors has long been demanding the creation of a new panel – an ‘IPCC for Food’ – to streamline decisions on the future of food systems. On the eve of the UNFSS Science Days, where the idea will be showcased, IPES-Food underlined the importance of science-based decision-making. However, the briefing note warned that the new panel – as planned – risks imposing a narrow view of science, and shutting down democratic debate.

Read the Brief (ENES)


A Long Food Movement: Transforming Food Systems by 2045

In this report, IPES-Food and the ETC Group map out two very different futures for food systems, people and planet. What do the next 25 years look like under 'agribusiness-as-usual'? Food systems in the hands of data platforms and e-commerce giants? More environmental degradation and biodiversity collapse? Or do civil society and social movements reclaim the initiative? We imagine what a 'Long Food Movement' could achieve by 2045 if these movements succeed in collaborating more closely than ever – to transform financial flows, governance structures and food systems from the ground up.

Read the Full Report (EN, FR, ES) | FAQs (EN)
Read the Executive Summary (ENFR, ES

EU Trade Policy for Sustainable Food Systems

The European Union (EU) has committed to supporting the global transition to more sustainable food systems. As the world’s largest food importer, the EU can use its trade policies and agreements to stimulate and incentivise more sustainable practices by its trade partners. In this brief, by IPES-Food and the European Centre for Development  Policy Management (ECDPM), we provide specific recommendations on how the EU can do so.

Read the brief (EN)

The Added Value(s) of Agroecology: Unlocking the potential for transition in West Africa

West Africa has all the ingredients to become the epicenter of the global agroecology movement, and one of the frontrunners in transition to sustainable and equitable food systems. Through a three-year participatory research process, IPES-Food identified eight key obstacles to agroecology in West Africa, but also four leverage points where sustained action could accelerate the agroecological transition in the region.

Read the Full Report (ENFR
Read the Executive Summary (ENFR

Money Flows: what is holding back investment in agroecological research for Africa?

In collaboration with Biovision and the Institute of Development Studies, IPES-Food analyses the all-important financial flows in food system research that go to sub-Saharan Africa. Our new data shows that only a fraction of agricultural research funding in Africa is being used to transform food and farming systems.

Read the Full Report (EN
Read the Executive Summary (EN, FR, ES, DE

COVID-19 and the Crisis in Food Systems

This special report by IPES-Food takes stock of the first 100 days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has laid bare the underlying risks, fragilities, and inequities in global food systems, and pushed them close to breaking point. The report (in English, French and Spanish) looks at the symptoms and causes of the food crisis, and the structural changes now needed to protect people and planet. 

Read the Special Report (EN, FRES)

February 2019 | Food Policy | EU

Towards a Common Food Policy for the EU

This report argues for a Common Food Policy for the European Union: a policy setting a direction of travel for the whole food system, bringing together the various sectoral policies that affect food production, processing, distribution, and consumption, and refocusing all actions on the transition to sustainability. The Common Food Policy vision draws on the collective intelligence of more than 400 farmers, food entrepreneurs, civil society activists, scientists and policymakers consulted through a three-year process of research and deliberation.

Read the Full Report (EN, ES)
Read the Executive Summary (ENESFRITDE)

October 2018 | Agroecology

Breaking away from industrial food and farming systems: Seven case studies of agroecological transition

How have farmers, entrepreneurs, social movements, and innovative political actors managed to move away from or circumvent industrial agriculture and move towards a sustainable food system? This report describes seven case studies of agroecological transition to draw insights on how the lock-ins of industrial food systems can be overcome, where the key leverage points for transition are located, and how transition towards sustainable food and farming systems can be best supported.

Read the full report (EN, ES)
Read the executive summary (EN)

October 2017 | Agribusiness

Too big to feed: Exploring the impacts of mega-mergers, consolidation and concentration of power in the agri-food sector

Dominant agri-food firms have become too big to feed humanity sustainably, too big to operate on equitable terms with other food system actors, and too big to drive the types of innovation we need. This reports assesses the current state of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity across the food system, and identifies the risks arising from unprecedented consolidation at every node of the agri-food chain.

Read the full report (EN)
Read the short version (EN, ES)
Read the executive summary (EN)


October 2017 | Health & Resilience

Unravelling the Food–Health Nexus: Addressing practices, political economy, and power relations to build healthier food systems

Industrial food and farming systems are making people sick in a variety of ways, and are generating staggering human and economic costs. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the many interconnected ways in which food systems affect human health, why these negative impacts are systematically reproduced, and why certain problems are not politically prioritized. 

Read the full report (EN, FR, ES)
Read the executive summary (EN, FR, ES)

What makes urban food policy happen? Insights from five case studies

Cities are rising as powerful agents of change by finding innovative ways of putting sustainable food policies in place. Through a series of five case studies, this report provides insights into the factors that enable the development and delivery of urban food policies, how these enablers can be harnessed, and how barriers can be overcome. 

Read the full report (EN, ES)
Read the executive summary (EN)

June 2016 | Agroecology

From Uniformity to Diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems

Input-intensive crop monocultures and industrial-scale feedlots must be consigned to the past in order to put global food systems onto sustainable footing. This report made the case for a paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems and identifies the 8 ‘lock-ins’ holding back transition.  

Read the full report (EN, FR, CN)
Read the executive summary (EN)
Read the key messages (EN, FR, ES)

May 2015

The New Science of Sustainable Food Systems: Overcoming Barriers to Food Systems Reform

Who holds the power to shape food systems, and who sets the terms of debate when it comes to reforming them? IPES-Food's first report proposes a new analytical lens for food systems, and makes the case for reaching beyond the traditional bounds of the scientific community in conducting this analysis. 

Read the full report (ENES)

Read the 10 Principles of Sustainable Food Systems Reform (EN)