Moving towards more sustainable systems of food production is critically important. Our present systems are built on a range of practices that are increasingly untenable as we reach the tipping points of climate change, declining resources and ecosystems collapse.
Currently, it is more economically profitable to farm unsustainably than it is to farm sustainably. Placing a clear monetary value on the benefits and impacts of different food production systems, would enable the introduction of policy mechanisms to penalise damaging practices and reward the development of systems that deliver positive environmental and public-health outcomes.
In 2013, we organised two international conferences on this topic. These events, held in Kentucky (USA) and London (UK), convened scientists, policy-makers, healthcare and food industry professionals, press and members of the public for an open discussion about the possibilities for, and barriers to, True Cost Accounting. We continue to communicate the available research in this area, to encourage additional research and economic analysis, and to develop international communications partnerships to help raise awareness of the distorted economic policies that influence our food system.
To learn more about true cost accounting, visit the resources page.