Transforming food systems for people and planet

Our food systems are failing consumers. Over three billion people cannot afford a healthy diet, and nearly 800 million face chronic hunger. The impact on our environment is similarly devastating – food systems are responsible for approximately one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, and over 80% of biodiversity loss. 

A fundamental transformation is needed in the way we produce, distribute, and consume food. Achieving this requires upholding people’s basic right to food. We must make healthy and sustainable diets more available, accessible, and affordable. And build future food systems that are resilient, fair, and inclusive. 

The challenges of hunger, malnutrition, climate crisis, biodiversity loss, and more, cannot be resolved without a food systems approach, unlocking co-ordinated action at national and global levels. We need wide-reaching solutions based on collaboration between food systems stakeholders, starting from the rights and needs of people and planet. 

Our Roadmap for Action 

Consumers International has identified the most impactful ways in which the consumer movement is working to guarantee good food for all. From global advocacy through to grassroots innovation. 

Our roadmap of the key levers through which consumer action can drive food systems transformation incorporates four critical areas: 

  1. Strengthening consumer voice in food systems governance
  2. Unlocking healthy and sustainable diets
  3. Building resilient and regenerative food systems
  4. Enabling fair food trade and markets

This roadmap builds on a previous report showcasing the activities and impact of our 200+ members around the world – learn more about ‘How consumer organisations can contribute to more sustainable food systems'. The power of the global consumer movement has also been highlighted by the FAO, through its publication on ‘Consumer organizations in action.

Read the report

Strengthening consumer voice in food systems governance 

To deliver food systems transformation, governance at all levels must necessarily become more inclusive, centring people's rights and needs. Consumer perspectives, however, are too rarely heard in food systems governance, especially at a global level. 

We represent the consumer voice on the global stage, including through:

  • Memorandum of Understanding with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO). 
  • General Consultative Status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), representing the consumer voice at major international moments, including climate and biodiversity COPs. 
  • Co-leading the UN Food Systems Summit action track on ‘Shifting to healthy and sustainable consumption’, and sitting on the steering committee of the resulting Coalition of Action on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems. 
  • Official observer status at the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the global food standard-setting body. 
  • Participating in the Coordination Committee of the Civil Society and Indigenous People’s Mechanism (CSIPM) of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS). 


To continue strengthening the consumer voice, we plan to launch a consumer-led campaign to include demand-side action in key food, nutrition, and environment strategies, while publicly monitoring global progress. Additionally, we will empower consumer organisations as 'food systems champions' by providing connections and capacity building for impactful participation in national and global processes.

Unlocking healthy and sustainable diets  

For consumers to play their part in achieving food systems transformation, healthy and sustainable diets must be made available, accessible, and affordable for all. Government policy and business practices alike need to change to create food environments that give consumers greater agency in the marketplace.

We bring together members at the regional level to build evidence and shape recommendations for business and government to transform food environments. Recent initiatives included our report on tackling unhealthy diets in Latin America, collaborating with seven members and in partnership with the FAO. Additionally, we promoted healthy and sustainable diets in South Asia, bringing together members in India and Bangladesh.

Our plan of action:

  • Connect consumers voices with government and businesses to achieve quick wins in improving food environments, such as product reformulation, marketing regulation, procurement standards, and dietary guidelines.
  • Identify best practices for making good food more available, accessible, and affordable, including boosting purchasing power, shifting subsidies, and enabling innovative supply chain models. Pilot implementation together with partners. 


Read more

Watch the COP28 session we co-convened with the World Rural Forum on ‘Connecting consumers and family farmers to tackle food and climate crises’.

Building resilient and regenerative food systems

As food system challenges grow, merely protecting people from existing threats isn't enough. Consumers must actively help to build a better marketplace, and contribute their unique perspective on solutions like regenerative agriculture, resilient local food systems, and tackling loss and waste. 

To achieve this, we need to build bridges between stakeholders for more effective collaboration. In response to the global food crisis in 2022, we partnered with FAO to convene multi-stakeholder dialogues in Kenya, Ecuador, and Indonesia. This resulted in our Action Agenda for Future Food Systems, launched at COP27.

Our plan moving forward includes:

  • Mapping demand-side needs of resilient local food systems, including solutions for connecting farmers and consumers, and necessary policies. And engaging local governments and businesses for implementation.
  • Convening key stakeholders to address consumer tensions in circular food systems, balancing food loss reduction with safety, affordability, and pollution challenges. Also developing innovative solutions that consider the needs of the most vulnerable.


Read more

Enabling fair food trade and markets

Food systems transformation is impossible while the rules of the game are stacked against people and planet. We work closely with members to deliver solutions at national level, responding to the most urgent consumer challenges. Our work on Fair Food Prices has exposed the difficulty consumers face in affording healthy, sustainable, locally-produced foods.

We brought together consumer groups and competition authorities from 21 African countries to build momentum for action, by generating new evidence and shaping shared solutions. On a global level, we have championed the issue of unaffordable healthy and sustainable foods, presenting findings to the UN Global Crisis Response Group, and leading a side event at the Committee on World Food Security. 

Our aim is to continue scaling up our efforts on Fair Food Prices, empowering action from national authorities, and consolidating global action to ensure a diverse and competitive food marketplace. We also plan to mobilise the global consumer movement to advocate for shifts in trade rules and fiscal policies, centring the true cost of food systems to both people and the planet.

Read more

Join us  

Consumers International works with our members around the world, as well as a diverse network of partners, to deliver collaborative action towards food systems transformation.  


If you are interested to learn more about our work, or to explore opportunities for partnership, please contact


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Our Latest Publication

Unlocking Consumer Action for Food Systems Transformation


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