Innovation can accelerate the transition towards a sustainable food system

Mario Herrero*, Philip K. Thornton, Daniel Mason-d’Croz, Jeda Palmer, Tim G. Benton, Benjamin L. Bodirsky, Jessica R. Bogard, Andrew Hall, Bernice Lee, Karine Nyborg, Prajal Pradhan, Graham D. Bonnett, Brett A. Bryan, Bruce M. Campbell, Svend Christensen, Michael Clark, Mathew T. Cook, Imke J.M. De Boer, Chris Downs, Kanar DizyeeChristian Folberth, Cecile M. Godde, James S. Gerber, Michael Grundy, Petr Havlik, Andrew Jarvis, Richard King, Ana Maria Loboguerrero, Mauricio A. Lopes, C.L. Mcintyre, Rosamond Naylor, Javier Navarro, Michael Obersteiner, Alejandro Parodi, Mark B. Peoples, Ilje Pikaar, Alexander Popp, Johan Rockström, Michael J. Robertson, Pete Smith, Elke Stehfest, Steve M. Swain, Hugo Valin, Mark Van Wijk, Hannah H.E. Van Zanten, Sonja Vermeulen, Joost Vervoort, Paul C. West

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

156 Citations (Scopus)


Future technologies and systemic innovation are critical for the profound transformation the food system needs. These innovations range from food production, land use and emissions, all the way to improved diets and waste management. Here, we identify these technologies, assess their readiness and propose eight action points that could accelerate the transition towards a more sustainable food system. We argue that the speed of innovation could be significantly increased with the appropriate incentives, regulations and social licence. These, in turn, require constructive stakeholder dialogue and clear transition pathways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-272
JournalNature Food
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


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