This new view enables politics to consistently focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations global Agenda 2030.

The authors of the Nature Sustainability article therefore propose a combination of measures that provide special support for sustainable systems, create economic incentives for environmentally friendly production methods and ban particularly harmful practices. Thus it certainly makes sense to step up support for organic farming, restrict subsidies to environmentally friendly modes of production and prohibit harmful pesticides, they argue.

A paradigm shift is needed

“For too long, we have been trapped in heated debates on which technology can feed the world. Transcending ideological barriers and vested interests now needs to be at the top of the agenda to accelerate the necessary shift,” says lead author Frank Eyhorn from the Swiss development cooperation organisation Helvetas. Co-author Adrian Muller from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL adds: “We need coherent policies to achieve sustainable food systems.