Lesson 1: Food systems

The food systems concept has emerged over recent years as a keyway to address food security challenges.

Food systems consider all the actors, elements and activities that relate to primary producing, processing, distributing, preparing and consuming food and waste disposal; and the socio-economic and environmental outcomes of these activities (HLPE, 2014).

Issues concerning the food system include the governance and economics of food production, its sustainability, the degree to which we waste food, how food production affects the natural environment and the impact of food on individual and population health.

Food System Key Elements:

-Affordability     -Allocation

-Preference      -Production

-Distribution       -Exchange

They are important for two key reasons:

1.Our diet is one of the biggest drivers of health and well-being.

This is especially the case for children.

2.Current food systems, including production, farming, processing and global supply chains, have an enormous impact on our planet, driving climate change and threatening the environment.


  • Demographics
  • Consumption
  • Technology
  • Markets
  • Climate & Environment
  • Policy & Geopolitics