Food Action Alliance

The Food Action Alliance (FAA) is a coalition of organisations and initiatives, who through collective action, significantly strengthen the impact of agricultural value chains to produce food efficiently and sustainably, that is accessible to all, in support of a transition to healthier diets and improved environmental outcomes.

The FAA’s vision is of sustainable food systems that deliver better, faster, and at scale on food security and nutrition, inclusive growth and decent jobs, environmental sustainability and climate resilience, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Its mission is to deliver impact at scale on food value chains to achieve sustainable food systems.

The Alliance builds on a model of partnership for value chain action extensively implemented by the World Economic Forum under the New Vision for Agriculture (NVA) initiative - which has catalysed over 100 value chain initiatives in 25 countries in the past decade – and partner-driven initiatives. It responds to growing demand for similar initiatives and for new, more holistic solutions to food system challenges that affect value chains – e.g. around nutrition, poverty reduction, decent jobs, environmental sustainability, climate smart agriculture and resilience. Its ambition is to take a number of existing initiatives and partnerships to the next level, empowering them to collectively have a transformative impact on food systems worldwide.

FAA was catalysed by the World Economic Forum, International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Rabobank, and today engages a broad set of partners from various organisations from government, business, international organisations, civil society and farmer organisations.

Context for action

Food systems are complex and currently unsustainable for both people and planet. Sustainably nourishing a global population of 9.7 billion by 2050, while meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will require food systems that are inclusive, sustainable, efficient, nutritious and healthy. The transformation of food systems requires better functioning value chains, and in turn, this requires more coordinated action. Moreover, such transformation requires bridging between value chain actions and solutions to food system challenges that lie in other realms – from environmental science to nutrition policy and programmes, from finance to climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives, among others.

The 2030 Agenda requires food systems to accelerate and improve delivery on all fronts at the same time. All these fronts are inter-related, and progress on one cannot happen without affecting progress on another. It is thus critical to pursue opportunities for win-win progress across food system functions, but also to manage possible trade-offs effectively and transparently. This calls for a common platform for all different stakeholders in support of food systems transformation. The Food Action Alliance responds to these needs.

Setting objectives for collective impact

The Alliance has three distinct sets of objectives for the next 5 years:

1.    Establishing an effective, multi-stakeholder and action-oriented Alliance through:

·      mobilizing a critical mass of partners and stakeholders to work towards a common set of ambitious objectives

·      establishing a well-functioning structure with strong global/regional linkages

·      building a sustainable resource base

2.    Advancing concrete action by:

·      actively promoting transformative partnerships and strategic actor alignment

·      providing specialized support both to existing and new value chain initiatives

·      facilitating learning and access to science and evidence-based solutions to food system challenges

3.    Delivering tangible impact at scale towards the 2030 Agenda, by supporting flagship initiatives in three or more regions to make substantial progress across simultaneous targets on:

·      reducing hunger and improving nutrition

·      improving economic opportunities for smallholder farmers

·      reducing food losses and waste

·      reducing GHG emissions and enhance climate resilience in food systems

How the Food Action Alliance Works

The FAA is structured around global and regional hubs, providing solutions and support that address country-driven goals and local solutions. FAA operates as a platform to develop, align and scale flagship initiatives where there is an opportunity to advance on various functions of the food system, delivering a roadmap for food systems transformation through value chain action at country level.

Both at global and regional level, FAA will galvanize action-oriented partnerships and coordinated delivery impact; identify critical bottlenecks and systems inefficiencies and facilitate collective implementable solutions; build alignment around strategic investment opportunities; and provide a global network for sharing of innovative approaches and learnings.

FAA will support Alliance members that have interest in advancing particular topics by joining thematic working groups on cross-cutting themes such as finance, digital tools, climate change, nutrition, changing consumer demand. The working groups will curate and share learnings, and, work on new solutions in response to demand from Alliance partners. 

Alliance partners will initially be supported by small global and regional Secretariats which provide coordination and commission expert services to partners until projects become self-sustaining.

Delivering on a global agenda for transformation

The Food Action Alliance aims to act as a vehicle to deliver on the aims of major agenda setting processes, including the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement. The UN Food Systems Summit 2021 provides an initial two-year framework to advance flagship initiatives that can deliver on country-driven agendas for food systems transformation.

Where We Work

The Food Action Alliance is initially supporting flagship initiatives in Latin America, Africa, India and South-east Asia. In Latin America, initial focus countries include Colombia and Mexico; in Africa, initial focus countries identified are Ghana and Togo; in India, a national platform is in the process of development, currently including 3 states with NVA partnerships; and in South-East Asia, Grow Asia brings a network of partnerships and learnings on food systems value chain initiatives, technology and innovation.

Join the FAA: Members can engage on a number of levels and with varying forms of commitment. Interested organisations are requested to contact Maria Elena Varas at mariaelena.varas@weforum.org.

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