Action Tracks

The 2021 UN Food Systems Summit seeks to launch a journey of collectively transforming our food systems to give ourselves the best possible chance of delivering on the 2030 Agenda. Everyone has a role to play on this journey. Only by coming together can we spark new ideas and create meaningful impact.

Five Action Tracks, aligned with the Summit’s five objectives, will guide National and Sub-national dialogues. They offer stakeholders from a wide range of backgrounds a space to share and learn, with a view to fostering new actions and partnerships and amplifying existing initiatives. Importantly, the Action Tracks are not separate, nor do they sit in siloes. Each Action Track is designed to address possible trade-offs with other tracks, and to identify solutions that can deliver wide-reaching benefits.

While India has chosen to present its achievements on the Action Track Number 4: Advance Equitable Livelihoods, it’s contributions will also cut across all five tracks. The Dialogue Process will draw on the expertise of actors from across the country’s food systems. Together, they will explore how key cross-cutting levers of change such as finance, innovation, and the empowerment of women and young people can be mobilized to meet the Summit’s objectives. Before, during and after the Summit, they will come together to bring about tangible, positive changes to the food systems, learning from experiences and success stories.

Action Track 1:

Ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all
Action Track 1 will work to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition and reduce the incidence of non-communicable disease, enabling all people to be nourished and healthy. Action Track 1 will aim to develop game-changing and systemic solutions to make this happen by: (1) accelerating the reduction of hunger and inequality, (2) making nutritious foods more available and affordable, and (3) making food safer. That means ensuring that all people at all times have access to sufficient quantities of affordable and safe food products. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is the UN anchor agency for this track.

Read theDiscussion Starter Paper

Action Track 2:

Shift to sustainable consumption patterns
Action Track 2 will work to build consumer demand for sustainably produced food, strengthen local value chains, improve nutrition, and promote the reuse and recycling of food resources, especially among the most vulnerable. This Action Track recognizes that we need to eliminate wasteful patterns of food consumption; it also recognizes that we need to facilitate a transition in diets towards more nutritious foods that require fewer resources to produce and transport.

Guided by the best available scientific evidence, best practice and real-world examples, Action Track 2 aims to generate game-changing propositions — including identifying novel solutions — that can catalyze shifts in consumption through changes in food policy, food environments, private sector actions and offerings, and consumer behaviour. It aims to promote a transition towards healthier and more nature positive diets that are economically equitable and socially just. The World Health Organization (WHO) is the UN anchor agency for this track.

Read the Discussion Starter Paper

Action Track 3:

Boost nature-positive production

Action Track 3 will work to co-design game-changing solutions that deliver food production systems that work for both people and nature. It will aim to optimize environmental resource use in food production, processing and distribution, thereby reducing biodiversity loss, pollution, water use, soil degradation and greenhouse gas emissions. The Action Track will aim to deepen understanding of the constraints and opportunities facing smallholder farmers and small-scale enterprises along the food value chain. It will also strive to support food system governance that realigns incentives to reduce food losses and other negative environmental impacts. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is the UN anchor agency for this track.

Read the Discussion Starter Paper

Action Track 4:

Advance equitable livelihoods

Action Track 4 will work to contribute to the elimination of poverty by promoting full and productive employment and decent work for all actors along the food value chain, reducing risks for the world’s poorest, enabling entrepreneurship and addressing the inequitable access to resources and distribution of value. Action Track 4 will improve resilience through social protection and seek to ensure that food systems “leave no one behind.”

This track concentrates on the livelihoods of people at the various points within food systems – from the smallholder farmer to the retailer – and on the challenge of advancing equity throughout the system. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the flaws in these systems, making it difficult for millions to access adequate nutritious foods and without reliable sources of income to provide for themselves and their families. This reality is especially true for women, who represent 43 per cent of the farming workforce in developing countries. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is the UN anchor agency for this track.

Read the Discussion Starter Paper

Action Track 5:

Build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stress

Action Track 5 will work to ensure the continued functionality of sustainable food systems in areas that are prone to conflict or natural disasters. The Action Track will also promote global action to protect food supplies from the impacts of pandemics. The ambition behind Action Track 5 is to ensure that all people within a food system are empowered to prepare for, withstand, and recover from instability. Action Track 5 also aims to help people everywhere participate in food systems that, despite shocks and stressors, deliver food security, nutrition and equitable livelihoods for all.

The resilience of food systems needs to be strengthened in such a way that the economic, social and environmental foundations to produce sufficient nutritious food and maintain healthy ecosystems for current and future generations are not compromised. It demands a comprehensive approach that integrates responses to climate, biodiversity loss, conflict, pandemics, economic crises, food insecurity, malnutrition and considering poverty, inequalities and poor land use and distribution as structural root causes of increased hunger. The World Food Programme (WFP) is the UN anchor agency for this track.

Read the Discussion Starter Paper.

Food Systems Summit 2021