FReSH: Fixing the broken food system

Published January 19, 2017

Distinguished panel at the FReSH launch in Davos January 19th: (from left) Johan Rockström, Stockholm Resilience Centre and EAT Foundation; Lisa Dreier, World Economic Forum; Mark Malloch, Brown Business & Sustainable Development Commission; Amanda Sourry, Unilever; and Fokko Wientjes, FReSH and Royal DSM. Moderator: Peter Bakker, World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

25 leading global companies have announced their collaborative commitment to accelerate the transformation towards a healthy and sustainable global food system.

On the 19th of January 2017 – at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and EAT Foundation officially launched FReSH – the Food Reform for Sustainability and Health Program. The program follows their joint initiative announced at EAT Stockholm Food Forum in June 2016, to create the “conference of parties” to fix the broken food system and create new business opportunities.

FReSH is designed to accelerate transformational change in global food systems, to reach healthy, enjoyable diets for all, that are produced responsibly within planetary boundaries.

To achieve this ambitious goal, FReSH has brought business and science to work together. It draws on knowledge and efforts from premier research institutions, and is working with the business community to develop successful, high-impact solutions.

«What we eat and how we produce it drives some of our greatest health and environmental challenges. On the other hand, getting it right on food is our greatest opportunity to improve the health of people and planet.» Dr Gunhild Stordalen, Founder and President, EAT Foundation

Why FReSH?

Close to 100% of the food consumed across the world is produced and supplied by the private sector. This puts large and small businesses at the heart of the potential for transformational change in food systems all over the world.

FReSH is a platform for the private sector to achieve this transformation in a safe and pre-competitive space. In cooperation with science, academia, policy-makers and civil society, FReSH will catalyze change across the food systems, taking into account local eating patterns, by focusing on the following work streams:

  1. Developing guidelines on healthy and sustainable diets, taking into account social and environmental considerations;
  2. Food production adjustment, including formulating and offering to help achieve healthy and sustainable diets;
  3. Food consumption re-orientation to strengthen demand for healthy and sustainable diets;
  4. Improvement of food sourcing and reduction of food loss and waste;
  5. Measuring, reporting and communicating progress.


FReSH draws on the findings of the reputable EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets, where a multi-disciplinary group of world-leading scientists are synthesizing existing evidence to establish targets for healthy and sustainable food systems.

«Clear science-based targets will help businesses create ambitious yet implementable solutions, which can then be brought forward to guide policy makers to provide the framework for local or global food system transformations.» Peter Bakker, President and CEO, WBCSD

The business answer

The World Economic Forum has launched a scenario report on the future of global food systems. This report identifies two critical uncertainties for the future of food systems – demand shift and market connectivity – and explores four potential scenarios they could create.

Furthermore, the Business & Sustainable Development Commission has called for business leaders to take up the food systems challenges ahead of us. Meeting these challenges sustainably could unlock 14 business opportunities worth US$2.3 trillion annually by 2030, generating almost 80 million jobs. FReSH provides direct answers to these calls with an action agenda for concrete, meaningful and comprehensive measures. Additionally, the program will support the development of a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) sector roadmap.

«The private sector has a role to play to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable, available and aspirational. The market shift will create large-scale opportunities for early adopters in business, as the report of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission clearly shows.» eike Sijbesma, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Managing Board DSM and Member of the Scaling Up (SUN) Lead Group

Companies are invited to contact WBCSD for engagement opportunities and to learn more about the program.  

Mikael Linnander, Director Partnerships

+47 928 32 422


The partnership was formally launched at the EAT Stockholm Food Forum on 14 June 2016.