The 2023 State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) report shows that our current agrifood systems impose huge hidden costs on our health, the environment and society, equivalent to at least $10 trillion a year. This represents almost 10 percent of global GDP. Of this, more than 70 percent are driven by unhealthy diets leading to obesity and non-communicable diseases, and causing labor productivity losses. On the other hand, at least 25 percent of total costs are environment-related, from greenhouse gas and nitrogen emissions, land-use change and water use, but this value is probably underestimated due to data limitations.
For the first time ever, FAO will dedicate two consecutive editions of The State of Food and Agriculture to the same theme. This year’s report presents initial estimates, while next year’s will focus on in-depth targeted assessments to identify the best ways to mitigate them. Governments can pull different levers to adjust agrifood systems and drive better outcomes overall. Taxes, subsidies, legislation and regulation are among them.
Read the report here.