The London-based Wellcome Trust, in partnership with the Oslo-based Stordalen Foundation and the Stockholm Resilience Centre in Sweden, has announced the launch of a £6 million ($8.7 million) initiative aimed at bringing together experts and decision makers to help transform the way the world eats.
The impact of the global food system on the natural world and on human health is significant. From the obesity epidemic to rising global temperatures, food production and consumption are major drivers in many global trends, and without reform in the next thirty years these problems will be magnified. To address these challenges, the Wellcome Trust and Stordalen will each invest £3 million ($4.3 million) over the next three years to launch the EAT Foundation. Coordinated by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, the foundation will convene policy makers, industry leaders, researchers, and civil society to address food and nutrition challenges, with a focus on producing realistic solutions that can be implemented quickly and have an impact in a short time frame.
The work of the EAT Foundation will build on the EAT Initiative, which the Stordalen Foundation created in 2013 to host the EAT Stockholm Food Forum. Initially, the foundation will focus its work on developing metrics for health and sustainable food, multifunctional landscapes and seascapes, and consumer behavior and choices.
"Understanding the connections between our food, our environment, and our health is vital if we are to fully understand the challenges the world faces," said Clare Matterson, director of strategy for the Wellcome Trust. "That's why Wellcome has made investing in research in this area a priority. But research alone will not drive the transformative change that's needed — evidence needs to be translated into action, which is exactly what the EAT Foundation will do. It will help decision makers use research to build a healthy future for people and the natural world that we all rely on."