Knowledge for better food systems

Cities and circular economy for food

This report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation outlines three ways in which cities can promote a circular food economy: source food grown regeneratively and (when appropriate) locally; reduce waste and use by-products; and design and market healthier food.

The report refers to work from four focus cities: Brussels, Guelph, Porto and São Paulo.

The figure below shows the report’s estimates of where materials in the food system are currently discarded or re-used. Less than 2% of organic waste in cities is currently repurposed.

Read the full report, Cities and Circular Economy for Food, here. See also the video How and why should food be considered within the climate policies of cities? in the Foodsource video library.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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