Making policies work
  • Publication

    The food systems approach in practice: Our guide for sustainable transformation

  • Publication

    Sustainable food systems through diversification and indigenous vegetables

  • Publication

    EU trade policy for sustainable food systems

Our food systems struggle to provide the growing global population with affordable, healthy and nutritious foods. They also create livelihood stresses for producers and damage our natural environment. The sustainable food systems team of the Economic and Agricultural Transformation programme wants to help change that. We promote policies and investment to improve the sustainability and resilience of food systems in Africa and globally.

Unsustainable practices in our food systems threaten both human and planetary health: with hunger and malnutrition rising, poor diets are the leading cause of poor health worldwide. With a growing population, changing diets and high levels of food loss and waste, food production is exerting increasing pressure on the Earth, contributing to climate change and biodiversity loss. We need more inclusive, sustainable and resilient food systems to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the aims of the Paris Agreement. Better governance of food systems is crucial to achieve this.


What we do


  • We analyse food systems in Africa to better understand the social, economic and environmental sustainability challenges they face.
  • We work with African and European policymakers and food system actors to formulate and implement coherent policies for sustainable food systems in Africa, and at the global level.
  • We facilitate dialogue and partnerships between public and private actors to promote investment in more sustainable African food systems and value chains.
  • We explore how climate finance can be used to make African food systems more climate-resilient.

We work with a wide variety of stakeholders, including global agencies and international development partners, as well as governments, farmers, businesses, civil society organisations and researchers in Africa and Europe. Our work focuses in particular on local food systems in East and West Africa, and on European and global policies and processes affecting the global food system.

For more information about our recent activities and projects, have a look at our 2021 work plan or our 2019 annual report.


Get in touch


Do you want to know more about our work or are you interested in partnering with us? Get in touch with one of our team members.


About the Economic and Agricultural Transformation programme


Economic and agricultural transformation is central to many African and European development strategies. It can create more and better jobs, stimulate sustainable economic growth and tackle inequality. We want to help accomplish these goals. Our three programme teams focus on finance, trade and investment, the private sector and sustainable food systems.


Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.