The Global Alliance for the Future of Food (GA) recently published a sign-on letter encouraging eaters and policymakers alike to recognize the true costs of food. By embracing True Cost Accounting (TCA), GA believes that global leaders can help ensure that the hidden costs of our food system are reflected on an item’s price tag.
This letter, addressed to the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), invites readers to signal their commitment to embracing TCA as a way to transform the food system. The letter also calls on UN member state ambassadors, UN Special Envoy to the 2021 Food Systems Summit Agnes Kalibata, and sustainable food systems advocates everywhere to sign on. Alongside GA, the letter is undersigned by several organizations and food systems leaders who serve as strong advocates for TCA as a path forward.
GA, an alliance of organizations working towards a better food system, expresses in the letter that TCA can help decision makers “measure and assess the full costs and whole value of food systems.” The Alliance sees adopting TCA as an important outcome of the United Nations Food Systems Summit due to take place on September 23. TCA can help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), they mention, by accounting for the impacts the food system has on public health, the environment, and worker and community welfare.
The current food system has created “deep and damaging negative externalities,” GA notes in their letter. These range from diet-related diseases and antimicrobial resistance to environmental pollution, carbon emissions, and zoonotic diseases. To address these issues and create sustainable economic prosperity, GA maintains that policies and practices should begin to reflect TCA.
GA and the undersigned organizations and individuals invite readers to add their name or organization to the letter as a way to signal commitment to TCA. Readers can find and sign on to the letter here.