The Food Sustainability Index: who came out on top?

There is one common thread which links all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Food!

The way food is grown affects the environment, the way food is consumed affects peoples’ health, and the distribution and access to food affects access to education.

For this reason, the Food Sustainability Index (FSI) was developed to assess a food systems sustainability across three areas: sustainable agriculture, nutritional challenges, and food loss and waste.

The top overall performers in the FSI were:

  1. France
  2. Japan
  3. Germany
  4. Spain
  5. Sweden
  6. Portugal
  7. Italy
  8. South Korea
  9. Hungary

Countries which ranked the highest generally support agricultural research and development, have implemented food waste/loss policy, and have nutritional educational programs.

Can you guess which countries came out on top across the three pillars?

Food Loss and waste:

… and the winner is…. FRANCE!

France loses just 1.8% of its total food production to wastage annually! In France, supermarkets cannot throw away food which is approaching sell-by dates, but instead must donate it to charities under new legislation. Countries not far behind include Germany, Spain and Italy.

Sustainable Agriculture: 

…and the winner is… ITALY!

Italy has led global efforts to reduce water loss and environmental impacts of water used in agriculture. Italy also performed well in sustainable fisheries – did you know: Italy is the biggest consumer of seafood in the EU! Closely behind Italy in the Sustainable Agriculture category was South Korea, France and Colombia.

Nutritional Challenges:

…and the winner is… Japan!

Japan has the highest life expectancy outcome, zero vitamin A and Iodine deficiency, and the fourth lowest percentage of overweight people. Japan also has the second lowest amount of people per fast food restaurant globally (at 30,345)!

The index also found that countries with a high human development index tend to have more sustainable food systems. This emphasises the need to invest in sustainable agriculture in less developed countries, in order to achieve a wide range of development outcomes.

For more information, and a detailed breakdown of the results, take a look at the following food sustainability index complete report.

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