Knowledge Note

"Learn how the circular economy model offers a vision for a food system fit for our future."

The current food system has supported a fast-growing population and fueled economic development and urbanization. Yet, these productivity gains have come at a significant cost, and the model is no longer fit to meet longer term needs.

There are already well-known drawbacks related to our consumption of food, including the twin scourges of hunger and obesity. Less well-known, however, is the extent of the negative impacts of current food production methods. Overall, for every dollar spent on food, society pays two dollars in health, environmental, and economic costs. Half these costs – totalling USD 5.7 trillion each year globally – are due to the way food is produced.

This Overview aims to highlight the often underappreciated role urban food actors can play in driving food system transformation, and sparking a global public-private effort to build a circular economy for food. This Overview is based on a report produced as part of Project Mainstream, a CEO-led global initiative created by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum, which aims to scale business driven circular economy innovations. To read the entire report, please click here. Cities and Circular Economy for Food is additionally an affiliate project of the World Economic Forum’s Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy (PACE).