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Transforming Food Systems: A Path to Food Security


William Asiko, Vice President of Africa Region Office, The Rockefeller Foundation
Morgan Gillespy, Executive Director, Food and Land Use Coalition, Systemiq Ltd.
René Lammers, Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer, PepsiCo
Riikka Paarma, Sustainability Partner, EY-Parthenon
Kaveh Zahedi, Director Office of Climate Change, Biodiversity and Environment, FAO


with Principal Programming Partner

zayed sustainability prize logo 674x768 - Transforming Food Systems: A Path to Food Security

“Our food today is responsible for more deaths than unsafe sex, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs combined. Our food is literally killing us, right? And that’s a problem.”

– Morgan Gillespie

“If Africa follows the path of growth that has been followed by industrial nations today and follows exactly that path, we will never get to net zero.”

– William Asiko

“I think it should be not a naive message, but a message of hope and a message of confidence and a message of solution-based.”

– René Lammera

“I sense that maybe the solutions that we offer in the agri-food system transformation […] are almost a golden thread that can begin to pull these things, to tie these disparate processes together, especially at the national level.”

– Kaveh Zahedi

“As we know, our current food systems face significant challenges that put at risk their ability to provide nutritious food for all within planetary boundaries.”

– Riikka Paarma

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • There is an essential need for a transformation in food systems to promote healthy diets, scale regenerative agriculture, protect nature, and reduce food loss and waste.
  • Food systems are closely linked to climate change, obesity, freshwater security, and biodiversity loss, requiring holistic solutions that recognize the interdependence of these challenges.
  • Collaborative efforts among countries and international organizations are vital for addressing climate-related issues in food systems. Effective financing, involving both public and private sector investments, is crucial to support nature-based solutions and expedite mitigation efforts.
  • There is significant potential for transformative changes in Africa’s food systems through private sector investment, although challenges like government barriers and investment security persist. Africa offers attractive returns on investment despite potential higher costs.
  • Collaboration between corporations, such as PepsiCo, and farmers is key to implementing regenerative practices. This includes working through demonstration farms, science-based solutions, and data sharing to enhance agricultural practices.
  • Philanthropic support can help lower the costs of local supply chains, encouraging corporations to source locally and invest in local production, ultimately contributing to more sustainable and equitable food systems.