How can we avoid a sudden transition to the modern food system that could threaten the livelihoods of subsistence and artisan farmers and others that work in food production?

 |  6 May 2024

Decision-makers and civic leaders must protect people (not industry), anticipate the change, enable programs to help populations transition, create debt relief programs and expand social safety net programs.

As with other disruptions throughout history, existing industries and the individuals and communities dependent upon them will face serious challenges as their previous livelihoods are affected.

Every society must acknowledge and prepare for the impacts of the modern food disruption. Key recommendations for policymakers and civic leaders include:

  • Protect people, not companies or legacy industries.

  • Anticipate that whole towns and regions will be disproportionally affected by the disruption and enable programs to help local populations transition successfully to the new food system. This includes providing educational, financial, healthcare and social-capital support, as well as creating new employment opportunities.

  • Create debt-relief programs to help small businesses, individuals, family farmers and others within the value chain to exit their incumbent industries.

  • Expand social safety-net programs to ensure that individuals affected by the modern food disruption can either retrain for other livelihoods or retire with dignity.

Explore the evidence...

Witness the transformation

We are on the cusp of the deepest, fastest, most consequential disruption in food and agricultural production since the first domestication of plants and animals 10,000 years ago.

Policymakers must start planning for the modern food disruption now in order to capture the extraordinary economic, social and environmental benefits it has to offer.

Learn more about the disruption of food & agriculture.

Published on: 12/07/23

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