The State of Food Systems Worldwide: Countdown to 2030

The Food Systems Countdown to 2030 Initiative (FSCI) presents a science-based monitoring framework to guide the transformation of global agriculture and food systems.

As the world faces the urgent need to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and mitigate the effects of climate change, the Food Systems Countdown to 2030 Initiative (FSCI) has released its first global baseline report. This report provides decision-makers with essential data to drive the necessary transformation of agriculture and food systems worldwide. With the overarching goal of ensuring equitable access to healthy diets through sustainable and resilient systems, the FSCI aims to monitor progress using a comprehensive framework of 50 indicators. By repurposing existing data, policymakers can make informed decisions and take immediate action to address the challenges at hand.

A Holistic Approach to Monitoring

The FSCI’s indicator framework offers a holistic approach to monitoring agriculture and food systems. By tracking progress across five themes – diets, nutrition, and health; environment, natural resources, and production; livelihoods, poverty, and equity; governance; and resilience – policymakers gain a comprehensive understanding of the complexities involved. This approach ensures that no region is overlooked and highlights areas for improvement.

The Role of Agriculture and Food Systems in Sustainable Development

Agriculture and food systems play a crucial role in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, the current SDGs do not adequately monitor these systems. The FSCI aims to fill this gap by providing a global monitoring system that captures the strengths and weaknesses of agriculture and food systems at national, regional, and global levels. This comprehensive picture allows for valuable lessons to be learned and shared across regions.

Linking Agriculture and Food Systems to Climate Action

While agriculture and food systems have historically played a minor role in climate negotiations, there is growing recognition of their importance. At COP28, over 150 countries signed the Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems, and Climate Action, committing to incorporate agriculture and food systems into their climate plans by 2025. This progress signifies a shift towards recognizing the need for agriculture and food systems transformation to meet climate goals.

The Need for Better Data

To effectively monitor progress in agriculture and food systems, better data is urgently needed. The FSCI identifies several areas where data gaps exist, including food safety, off-farm livelihoods tied to agriculture, food loss and waste, economic contributions, governance, and resilience. Filling these data gaps is a top priority for the FSCI and the global science and policy communities invested in the future of agriculture and food systems.

Tailoring Monitoring Systems to Country Needs

The FSCI’s indicator framework not only serves as a global monitoring tool but also provides a menu of indicators that can be tailored to meet specific country needs. This flexibility allows policymakers to design policies and actions based on the unique challenges and opportunities within their respective regions. By aligning monitoring systems with country needs, the FSCI aims to drive targeted and impactful change.


The state of food systems worldwide is at a critical juncture as the countdown to 2030 begins. The FSCI’s science-based monitoring framework offers decision-makers the essential data they need to guide the transformation of agriculture and food systems. By monitoring progress across key themes and addressing data gaps, policymakers can make informed decisions and take immediate action. As the world grapples with the challenges of climate change and the need for equitable access to healthy diets, the FSCI’s framework provides a roadmap towards a healthier, more sustainable, and equitable future for all.

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