Food Systems

Food Systems

Cheap food is often very expensive
- Alexander Müller
Agriculture is a major driver of biodiversity loss, ecosystem degradation and human-driven climate change. Most food systems today neither provide sustainable livelihoods nor sufficient and healthy diets. At TMG, we recognise the urgent need to transform our food systems to support the resilience of our ecosystems, ensure equitable access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food, and provide secure livelihoods for farmers.
Drawing on in-depth scientific knowledge, and our long-standing experience in the governance of food systems, we advise and shape agricultural policy reforms at national and regional level. In partnership with leading food producers and financial institutions in Europe, we seek to build broad alliances to co-design economic and financial systems that account for the harmful environmental and social costs of current food systems, opening up avenues for their transformation.

Latest

Firewood - the blank space in the debate on food security
News
Firewood - the blank space in the debate on food security
A TMG contribution to Fachjournal Welternährung

Topics

Digitalisation

Digitalisation

Exploring the role of digitalisation and social innovation for inclusive and resilient food systems.

While there are many successful development initiatives in the African region, entrenched structural inequalities and power asymmetries continue to lock out millions of people from taking charge of their own development aspirations.

Projects

Food Systems Transformation

Food Systems Transformation

Exploring equitable transformation pathways for a sustainable future of food systems

The global food system is broken – it is unsustainable, unhealthy, unjust, and in dire need of transformation. Our food systems contribute to climate change, biodiversity loss, unhealthy diets, hunger, and social inequality. There is need for fundamental changes to the way our food is grown, processed, distributed, and consumed. This aspiration is at the heart of the shift from the old agricultural productivity paradigm towards food systems, in line with the concept of planetary boundaries and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

True Cost Accounting in Agri-food Systems

True Cost Accounting in Agri-food Systems

Developing integrated accounting standards for the food and farming sector

Standard accounting and economic evaluation systems do not take full account of all four capitals − produced, natural, social and human − that are involved in the production, processing, marketing and consumption of food, and related services. This means that businesses and other actors are often not held liable for the negative externalities of their activities. Instead, the costs are often borne by society, and the environment. Examples include paying more for clean water due to the cost of removing pesticides from water sources, or higher prices for food due to reduced harvests from poorly managed soils.

Projects

News & Blog Posts

Firewood - the blank space in the debate on food security
News

Firewood - the blank space in the debate on food security

A TMG contribution to Fachjournal Welternährung
Governance: A key missing link in tackling climate-related transboundary threats
Blog Post

Governance: A key missing link in tackling climate-related transboundary threats

Highlights of a GLF Climate expert session co-organized by TMG and IGAD-ICPAC on the sidelines of UNFCCC COP 27
True Cost Accounting discussion at COP 27
News

True Cost Accounting discussion at COP 27

Exploring how TCA can provide a coordinated and holistic response to the multiples crises we are facing
Climate Change Brings New Pest & Disease Pressures Previously Unimaginable
Media Coverage

Climate Change Brings New Pest & Disease Pressures Previously Unimaginable

Harnessing technological advances to strengthen transboundary governance of early warning-early action systems
Our food system needs crisis proofing. Start with windfall tax
Media Coverage

Our food system needs crisis proofing. Start with windfall tax

A call for a more adequate global response to the current crises
Scientific Linkages Between Climate Change and (Transboundary) Crop Pest and Disease Outbreaks
Publication

Scientific Linkages Between Climate Change and (Transboundary) Crop Pest and Disease Outbreaks

A new working paper calls for urgent action to set up a "holistic early warning system"

Publications

Scientific Linkages Between Climate Change and (Transboundary) Crop Pest and Disease Outbreaks

Working Paper

Scientific Linkages Between Climate Change and (Transboundary) Crop Pest and Disease Outbreaks

Alexander Müller, Adam Prakash, Elena Lazutkaite, Mark Davis, Ahmed Amdihun and Jully Ouma

Paving the way forward for improved crisis governance

An unfolding global hunger crisis?

Working Paper

An unfolding global hunger crisis?

Alexander Müller, Adam Prakash and Elena Lazutkaite

The developed world must share their grain reserves with countries in need instead of producing biofuels and meat!

True Cost Accounting Agrifood Handbook

Technical Guide

True Cost Accounting Agrifood Handbook

Olivia Riemer, Sivan van Leerzem, Dr. Janine von Wolfersdorff and Gyde Wollesen

Practical guidelines for the food and farming sector on impact measurement, valuation and reporting

A Scoping Paper on the Ongoing Desert Locust Crisis 2019-2021+

Working Paper

A Scoping Paper on the Ongoing Desert Locust Crisis 2019-2021+

Alexander Müller, Swantje Nilsson, Adam Prakash and Elena Lazutkaite

A call to instill and coordinate innovative early warning and outbreak prevention systems both at the global and regional level to increase resilience in times of the climate crisis

Videos

  • Strengthening Early Warning & Early Action on Transboundary Pests and Diseases

    Strengthening Early Warning & Early Action on Transboundary Pests and Diseases

  • Transforming food systems from the bottom up: Social innovations for soil restoration

    A conversation around land rights and agricultural transformation

  • In Harmony with Humanity and Nature: How a Project in Southern India Creates New Perspectives

    An application of the True Cost Accounting methodology in India

  • Innovative digital tools to enhance food security in Africa (Highlights)

    A contribution to debates on the EU Comprehensive Strategy with Africa

  • The Interconnectedness Between the Ongoing Desert Locust Crisis 2019-2021+ and the Climate Crisis

    Session hosted by TMG, BMZ, IGAD and the Swette Center at Arizona State University.

  • Land-Food-Climate: Tackling the climate implementation gap

    Second event of the series "Land-Food-Climate: An African-European Dialogue on Climate Resilience"

  • Land-Food-Climate: Climate Resilience through the Right to Food

    First event of the series "Land-Food-Climate: An African-European Dialogue on Climate Resilience"

  • Land-Food-Climate: An African-European Dialogue on Climate Resilience

    Teaser video for the "Land-Food-Climate: An African-European Dialogue on Climate Resilience" event series

  • True Cost - From Costs to Benefits in Food and Farming

    A short video presenting the "True Cost - From Costs to Benefits" in Food and Farming initiative

Events

Learn more about our activities

Check out our different channels where we publish articles, videos, and analyses of global and local debates

TMG Think Tank for Sustainability consists of TMG Research gGmbH, an independent, non-partisan, non-for-profit organisation registered in Berlin (District Court Charlottenburg, HRB 186018 B, USt.-ID: DE311653675) and TMG - Töpfer Müller Gaßner GmbH, a private company registered in Berlin (District Court Charlottenburg, HRB 186018 Bm USt.-ID: DE311653675).

Our main address is EUREF Campus 6-9, 10829 Berlin, Germany.

© 2023 TMG Think Tank for Sustainability. All Rights Reserved.