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Food Systems and Food Security

The world relies on sustainable agriculture, resilient supply chains, and the availability of healthy food. BCG works with businesses, foundations, and governments to make the world’s food supply flourish—even in the face of climate-related threats.

The challenges related to food systems and security are complex and urgent. Climate change can and does threaten the food supply—along with the incomes of those who grow crops or raise livestock. Catastrophes such as COVID-19 can throw just-in-time supply chains off balance in a flash. At the same time, workers, customers, and shareholders are exerting pressure on companies to reduce their carbon footprint and their use of plastics in packaging.

BCG helps organizations manage these complexities. We bring deep expertise on issues ranging from supply chain management to advanced data and analytics. And we take a holistic, systems-mapping approach to help our clients address challenges.

How We Help Clients Address Food Systems and Security

Large food systems companies manage expansive supply chains that crisscross the globe. And yet many of their challenges are local. Our holistic approach to food systems consulting helps keep these dynamics in balance and includes support in the following areas:

  • Sustainable Agriculture. We help build the coalitions that can make sustainable agriculture a reality. We work across the entire agriculture value chain, from equipment and seed to trade and retail, to serve leading food and agriculture companies well as governments, foundations, NGOs, and coalitions. BCG has also worked with companies and foundations on regenerative agriculture and soil carbon sequestration; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; and the role of R&D, innovation, and digital in advancing sustainable agriculture.
  • Food Loss and Waste. Every year, 1.6 billion tons of food—worth about $1.2 trillion—are lost or go to waste. That’s one-third of the total amount of food produced globally. The problem is enormous, but there is a clear way forward. BCG has identified five drivers of the problem that, if addressed, could reduce the dollar value of annual food loss and waste by nearly $700 billion. Real headway will require commitment and coordinated action from consumers, governments, NGOs, farmers, and companies.
  • Food Supply Chains. We help agribusiness and food industries improve efficiencies along their supply chains in ways that are environmentally sustainable and that improve food security. We also help them find ways to optimize the import and export of food products.
  • Food Packaging. Food packaging can do more than just attract and inform buyers. Companies can revise packaging to reduce their global carbon footprint or to incorporate technologies that increase product longevity.

Our Client Work in Food Systems and Security


Our Partnerships in Food Systems and Security

Our Insights on Food Systems and Security

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Beyond “Carbon Tunnel Vision” in Food Systems

The global food system depends on nature, but it also contributes to its destruction. With a nature-positive approach, companies can preserve the resources necessary to ensure a healthy food supply.

Transforming Africa’s Food Systems from the Demand Side

It’s time for a radical rethinking of food policies in Africa. Here, BCG’s Chris Mitchell joins Federico Bellone of High-Level Climate Champions at COP27 to discuss what it will take, amid rising temperatures, to transform food systems across the continent.

Sustainability is Surging in Consumer and Retail

Climate change is pushing natural systems to the brink. Companies that integrate sustainability into their core can change the game.

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BCG at COP28

BCG’s delegation of leaders will be at COP28, the UN Climate Change Conference, where they will work alongside public, private, and social sector leaders to accelerate climate action and advance adaptation and resilience. Learn more about our in-person and virtual programming.

Our Experts in Food Systems and Security

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The Sustainable Advantage: Insights on Creating Competitive Advantage Through Sustainability