Australia’s food systems must change now to remain sustainable in the future according to a new roadmap released today by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.
Food systems – spanning the entire food pipeline from production to consumption and waste management – are under pressure on several fronts, including a changing climate, increasing demand, supply chain and workforce disruptions, rising input costs and nutrition-related public health concerns.
The roadmap, Reshaping Australian Food Systems, sets a path for how Australia can secure a more sustainable, productive, and resilient future for its food, environment, and people.
Better access to healthy diets and minimising food waste are among five key areas of opportunity identified in the report.
Kirsten Rose, CSIRO’s executive director, Future Industries, said the roadmap would provide an important resource for decision-makers.
“Australia’s food systems currently support an estimated 70 million people across the nation and through our export markets so it’s critical those systems are robust enough to meet future needs,” Ms Rose said.
“This roadmap represents a collective approach to tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the security and health of our food.”
The roadmap identified five areas of opportunities, each with its own 2030 targets and 2050 goals:
- Enabling equitable access to healthy and sustainable diets
- Minimising waste and improving circularity
- Facilitating Australia’s transition to net zero emissions
- Aligning resilience with socioeconomic and environmental sustainability
- Increasing value and productivity.
With input from more than 120 stakeholders across the country, CSIRO’s director of Agriculture and Food Dr Michael Robertson said the roadmap covered a broad look at food systems and how they interact with wider societal systems.
“Recent climate extremes, the COVID-19 pandemic, and geopolitical uncertainties show that we need to prepare our food systems for a shifting risk landscape in our interdependent world,” Dr Robertson said.
“Addressing these challenges and redirecting our food systems towards greater sustainability and resilience will help us protect our food security into the future.”
Download the roadmap, Reshaping Australian Food Systems, here.