Food Systems for Healthier Diets Explores Work with CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees, and Agroforestry


by A4NH | July 24, 2019

Attendees of the FTA nutrition policy development meetings gather for a photo.

In February and March 2019, A4NH convened CGIAR Partner Consultations in Ethiopia and Bangladesh, respectively. The goal of the sessions was to contribute to CGIAR and partner thinking on food systems research, as part of the CGIAR Research Strategy to 2030, and to build a body of practice and evidence in partnership with interested CGIAR Centers, Research Programs, and partners.

During the sessions, four strategic themes for collaboration were identified:

  1. Let markets work for healthy diets
  2. Bottom-up meets top-down
  3. Reverse thinking: what consumers want, and
  4. From single foods to whole diets.

As a follow-up to the consultation meetings, Inge Brouwer, an Associate Professor in Food and Nutrition Security at Wageningen University & Research and leader of A4NH's Food Systems for Healthier Diets (FSHD) research flagship, attended the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees, and Agroforestry (FTA) events on developing a nutrition policy strategy. These sessions included a stakeholder consultation and a workshop to develop plans and activities for the strategy.

Starting with a presentation on the A4NH FSHD strategies and results from the partner consultations, attendees discussed and worked out further details on how FTA could contribute to the four thematic areas identified during the A4NH process. Planned activities include:

  • Joint work on landscape versus dominant food systems in Ethiopia (thematic area 2);
  • Collaboration in the Community of Practice on Food Environment and Consumer Behavior (thematic area 3); and
  • Development of initial ideas on establishing a trade hub for marketing locally-sourced healthy foods and improved access to finance for the healthy food sector (thematic area 1).

Other activities identified focused on urban agriculture for fruits, nuts, and seeds; nutrient composition of underutilized and wild foods; and plans for joint contributions to international conferences such as the Micronutrient Forum and the 2020 ANH Academy Week.


The authors map national food system transformations in a recently developed typology, using economic, social, dietary, and environmental outcomes to examine whether there are linear patterns as countries move from one categorization to another.


PhD candidates with A4NH's Food Systems for Healthier Diets research flagship reflect on what they learned about engaging in national food system transformation during the course of their study.


Inge Brouwer and Ruerd Ruben have helped shape A4NH's food systems thinking and research agenda.