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Food Systems

The sustainability of a food system is judged by its success in meeting multiple objectives related to the three pillars of sustainability: economic, social, and environmental. These objectives include providing safe and nutritious food for all; providing decent incomes and wages for farmers and those working across the system; and conserving natural resources for the benefit of current and future populations. These objectives align with USDA’s approach to sustainability.

The United Nations Secretary-General will convene a Food Systems Summit on September 23, 2021 to launch bold new actions as part of the UN’s Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The stated goal of the Food Systems Summit is to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about foods within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to meet the challenges of poverty, food security, malnutrition, population growth, climate change, and natural resource degradation. See the UN Food Systems Summit website for more information on the Summit. Updated Summit FAQs are available at https://www.un.org/en/food-systems-summit/frequently-asked-questions.

The United States strongly supports the UN Food Systems Summit and the goals of accelerating progress towards ending hunger and malnutrition and building more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food systems. The Summit is a valuable opportunity to focus the world’s attention on these shared goals and to act with urgency for the health of the planet and the wellbeing of current and future generations (additional background on U.S. approach to the Food Systems Summit (PDF, 174 KB)).

Critical to achieving these objectives are science [English (PDF, 667 KB) | Spanish (PDF, 668 KB) | French (PDF, 667 KB) | Portuguese (PDF, 671 KB) | Italian (PDF, 680 KB) | Arabic (PDF, 830 KB)], innovation [English (PDF, 550 KB) | Spanish (PDF, 591 KB) | French (PDF, 575 KB) | Portuguese (PDF, 554 KB) | Italian (PDF, 509 KB) | Arabic (PDF, 575 KB)], place-based solutions [English (PDF, 781 KB) | Spanish (PDF, 726 KB) | French (PDF, 780 KB) | Portuguese (PDF, 716 KB) | Italian (PDF, 666 KB) | Arabic (PDF, 854 KB)], and sustainability [English (PDF, 448 KB) | Spanish (PDF, 463 KB) | French (PDF, 464 KB) | Portuguese (PDF, 447 KB) | Italian (PDF, 469 KB) | Arabic (PDF, 732 KB)].

USDA Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh headed the United States delegation at the Pre-Summit Ministerial of the Food Systems Summit, held in Rome, Italy from July 26-28, 2021. Deputy Secretary Bronaugh and other U.S. government officials, many of whom participated virtually in the Pre-Summit, promoted U.S. priorities for the Summit and laid the groundwork for meaningful Summit outcomes (news release).

As part of the Food Systems Summit, the United States has launched a new coalition, The Coalition for Sustainable Productivity Growth for Food Security and Resource Conservation (the SPG Coalition) ( See the Coalition template [English (PDF, 169 KB) | Spanish (PDF, 179 KB) | French (PDF, 179 KB)] , and backgrounder (PDF, 365 KB).

The SPG Coalition aims to accelerate global transition to more sustainable food systems through agricultural productivity growth that optimizes agricultural sustainability across social, economic, and environmental dimensions. Organizations and likeminded countries are invited to join SPG Coalition by completing the Declaration of Support [English (PDF, 115 KB) | Spanish (PDF, 153 KB) | French (PDF, 151 KB)].