Briefing Note/Pack

Changing Food Systems: Implications for DFID Priorities

1st September 2019
Author: Evert-jan Quak, Jim Woodhill

How food systems change over the coming decades will have profound implications for development goals and priorities. Changes in what we eat, population growth, and urbanisation – along with the implications of climate change and unsustainable use of resources – create both opportunities and risks. Growing demand for food is a significant opportunity for inclusive economic development and jobs. At the same time, unhealthy diets and environmental impacts pose systemic risks for health, human security, and stability. Realising the opportunities and mitigating the risks requires a food systems approach. A holistic view is needed of food consumption, distribution, and production within a clearer political economic understanding of incentives for change. Development priorities – such as health, jobs, food security, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and responding to climate change – all require transforming food systems to be healthier, more inclusive, and sustainable. This policy brief was compiled based on the conclusions of the DFID K4D Learning Journey on Changing Food Systems.

Suggested Citation

Woodhill, J., & Quak, E. (2019). Changing food systems: Implications for DFID priorities, Policy Brief, Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.


1st September 2019


Continent: Global