Insights on How to Scale Impact Investing in Urban Food Systems

Findings from Food Trails Investors Living Lab.

 Roadmap for Scaling Impact Investment in Urban Food Systems: 

After more than a year of hosting the Food Trails Investors Living Lab, holding monthly meetings and exchanges, and exploring insights on impact investing in urban food systems, we are pleased to share the outcome of this work and to launch the Roadmap for Scaling Impact Investment in Urban Food Systems.

The Roadmap addresses areas for expanded flows of investment for healthy and sustainable food systems in urban communities. One of the insights that emerged in the Lab is the need for sequencing actions strategically, to catalyse the delivery of investment for impact. This report is a compendium of work on how to bring an investment perspective to urban food policy. It introduces the opportunities and the actions, illustrated by practical examples.

The Roadmap acts as a resource for municipalities, investors, innovators, and other urban food systems actors to integrate impact investment in food systems and policymaking, and enable decisions that allow investments to support food systems transformation.

Additional Resources: 

Please visit the Food Trails Resources for information on the Investors Living Lab, including an overview of Lab meetings, Summary Briefs, webinar recordings, and information about future work. 

“What makes urban food systems transformation a smart investment? Pricing pressures from climate change and shock disruptions like the COVID pandemic or war in Ukraine, strain local and national economies, and make all investments more expensive and risky. Diet-related health costs deplete public resources for investment in innovation. Urban food policies can send a clear signal, align with national sustainable development strategies, and reduce market risks for everyone. By leveraging impact investment to drive urban food systems transformation, cities can support new business models that scale and achieve economy-wide reach, expanding overall value-creation—for investors, for stakeholders, and for whole societies.”
Joe Robertson, Senior Advisor, Sustainable Finance, EAT

“The connections between impact investment and urban food policy are typically underdeveloped, both at the local level and within the financial sector. At the same time there is a positive, apparent value in having better connections between the two realms. The Investors Lab helped to create a better understanding of impact investment in urban food systems transformation and provided an outlook on the vast opportunities.”
Thom Achterbosch, Senior Researcher sustainable food systems, Wageningen University & Research 


Thank you 

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the Lab: municipalities, innovators, researchers and investors who shared their experiences, knowledge and priorities on the topic. We would like to thank our project partners, Wageningen University & Research, for co-leading the process with EAT.


For more information on Food Trails, visit:

The FOOD TRAILS project has been funded by Horizon 2020 Grant Agreement n. 101000812.

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