The Economist Intelligence Unit released 2016 Food Sustainability Index developed in collaboration with the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition Foundation.
The index ranks 25 countries – 20 largest economies (G20), which account for 85% of global GDP and two-thirds of global population, plus Nigeria, Ethiopia, Colombia, the UAE and Israel – according to their sustainability in food systems across 3 pillars (food loss & waste, sustainable agriculture, nutritional challenges).
France tops the index on food loss and waste, with its holistic approach which includes mandates for education and new business practices. France also scores top in the index for nutrition, due to its high rates of nutritional adequacy among its population and low rates of nutritional deficiency including micronutrient deficiency. Japan scored second and South Korea scored third in the index for nutrition. India, Nigeria and South Africa received the lowest scores as countries with the biggest nutritional challenges.
Germany is ranked first in the index for sustainable agricultural performance, with high rankings for its water withdrawal sustainability and a relatively low usage of fertilizers and pesticides. For its quality of agricultural subsidies, diversification of the agricultural system, and agricultural productivity, Canada scored second.
Index showed that Italy is the best-performing European country for the low environmental impact of agriculture on atmosphere. Japan ranked third for sustainable agriculture. The country has the fifth lowest greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture and the fifth lowest fertilizer emissions from agriculture as percentage of total emissions.
Colombia scored ninth for its strong performance on water management and environmental biodiversity. Mexico scored tenth for its environmental biodiversity, water management, quality of its agricultural subsidies and for lower impact of agriculture on land. The lowest-performing countries in the index for sustainable agriculture were India, UAE, Egypt.
The US ranks third-worst for food waste per person and the prevalence of overweight. However, the US scores joint top for its policy responses to food loss and unhealthy diets, with San Francisco leading the way for its responses to food waste.
Lucy Hurst, the index research director, said, "Food and nutrition are at the core of the Sustainable Development Goals, impacting everything from inequality and sustainable consumption, to education, wellbeing and economic productivity. This index gives us the opportunity to look at three areas of food systems that we can all relate to - the quality of the food available to us, what we can do about food waste, and how critical sustainable agriculture is to providing enough food for us all. Learning from top performers can help countries meet their SDG targets."
For more details, visit Food Sustainability Index website.
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by Natalie Myhalnytska
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