The big food redesign

We need a circular food system that is good for people, farmers, nature, and business.

Black women writing on sticky notes about combining the principles of circular economy with food design and two colleagues in the background give their input.

What if food could build biodiversity and tackle climate change?

Fast moving consumer goods companies (FMCGs) and retailers have the power to make nature-positive food that’s good for farmers and business mainstream. 

Leading FMCGs and retailers have substantial influence on the food system. In the EU and UK, for example, 40% of agricultural land is influenced by the top 10 FMCGs and retailers. Many of these players are currently part of the problem, but given their size and influence they can be, and need to be, part of the solution.

FMCGs and retailers design what we eat – how it looks, how it tastes, and how good it is for us and for nature. Combining the principles of circular economy with food design, they can design food for nature to thrive. 

Rather than bending nature to produce food, food can be designed for nature to thrive

By rethinking the ingredients, they use and how they’re produced, they can provide choices that are better for customers, better for farmers, and better for the environment.

Today, just four crops provide 60% of the world’s calories, while many ingredients that could be used instead and have a lower impact are rarely used. A nature-positive food system requires a more diverse mix of plants and livestock and a better understanding of local contexts to function effectively.

Major FMCGs and retailers can catalyse this shift in the mix of crops and livestock at scale and pace by creating the demand for diverse ingredients, which most often means fundamentally redesigning their food product portfolios.

To do this, food designers can use the principles of the circular economy and apply them across all dimensions of food design, from product concept, through ingredient selection and sourcing, to packaging. 

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