WWF (2023). Solving the Great Food Puzzle: Right Innovation, Right Impact, Right Place. Loring, P., Loken, B., Meyer, M., Polack, S., Paolini, A., et al. WWF, Gland, Switzerland
Our food systems are at the centre of some of the biggest challenges of our time, which means they must also be at the centre of our quest for solutions.
As we work to solve the Great Food Puzzle, innovations are key to unlocking the potential of food systems as solutions to the nature and climate crises.
On its own, innovation won’t be enough to achieve healthy diets from sustainable food systems for all; still, innovations can accelerate national-level food system transformation by helping to close three critical gaps that can hinder action in countries. These gaps are: (i) the ambition gap; (ii) the transformation gap; and (iii) the implementation gap.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution that can deliver the food systems transformations needed in all countries around the world. The Right Innovation, Right Impact, Right Place framework will help anyone designing or supporting innovations in food systems to build an innovation toolkit to maximize impact and achieve national-level health and environmental goals.
Ultimately and most importantly, who is at the table and who is empowered to take the lead matters. What makes this paper novel is the set of concepts and questions we have assembled and how we bring these to life with examples of a wide range of innovations from around the world, some novel and highly technological, others familiar but applied in creative new ways.
As we all work to solve the Great Food Puzzle, we hope the Right Innovation, Right Impact, Right Place framework presented in this study will help ensure that each action taken will have the most impact in the shortest time possible.
means choosing innovations that amplify the impacts of transformation levers and ideally can be applied to affect one or more levers to accelerate change.
means anticipating the kind of change and impact any proposed innovation might have in a particular place.
means paying close attention to the social and ecological context in which the innovation is to be implemented.