$2M Food Planet Prize Awarded to C40 Food Systems for Pioneering Worldwide Sustainable Urban Dining

3 mins

The 2024 Food Planet Prize Awards – the world’s biggest environmental award – was picked up by C40 Food Systems for their transformative impact on urban food systems, promoting healthier and more sustainable meals in cities worldwide

The Food Planet Prize, a prestigious $2 million environmental award, has announced C40 Food Systems as its winner for 2024. This global network has been recognised for, amongst other attributes, its impressive efforts in shifting millions of meals in major cities towards healthier and more sustainable choices for people and the planet.

Established in 2019 by the Curt Bergfors Foundation, The Food Planet Prize recognises and supports initiatives that address critical challenges in the global food system and aims to inspire innovative solutions that can create significant positive change within a ten-year timeframe.

Among the seven organisations shortlisted, C40 Food Systems emerged as the frontrunner at this year’s award ceremony held at the Ett Helm Hotel in Stockholm. C40 Food Systems, a network of 96 cities worldwide, has worked tirelessly to develop and implement policies that interconnect sustainable food practices. This includes shifting towards plant-based meals in public institutions, reducing food waste and promoting local and regional food procurement.

Within just a few years, they’ve managed to transform the way millions of people eat, ultimately benefiting both human health and the environment.

Food Planet Prize

The social enterprise caught the attention of the jury, which included Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and Magnus Nilsson, a celebrated Swedish chef. Nilsson, who is also director general of the Food Planet Prize, helmed the two Michelin-starred restaurant Fäviken and was also academic director of René Redzepi’s MAD Academy in Copenhagen which aims to train hospitality professionals to become change makers in their industry and wider food systems.

Food Planet prize jury
The Food Planet prize jury with Magnus Milsson centre back. Credit: Erik Olssen

The C40 Food Systems network acknowledges the urgent need to rethink the way we eat, given the significant role food plays in climate change. By prioritising sustainable, locally sourced foods and minimising waste, the network aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also improving public health outcomes. This holistic approach is what set C40 Food Systems apart, earning them the well-deserved recognition from the Food Planet Prize.

Speaking at the event, Magnus Nilsson highlighted the significance of their work: ‘Cities are the hub of global food consumption, with 70 per cent of humanity’s annual food intake taking place within urban areas. C40 represents a powerful coalition of leaders from some of the world’s major cities, offering a unique opportunity to influence millions of people through a unified, democratic decision-making process. This collective approach to sustainable food policy is what set C40 apart’

With the $2 million prize money, C40 Food Systems plans to further expand its reach, working towards a healthier and more sustainable future for all.

As the world faces increasing environmental challenges, initiatives like the Food Planet prize and this year’s winner C40 Food Systems, offer a glimmer of hope for the future. Thanks to initiatives that reimagine our damaged food systems, we can reduce the ever-growing strain on our planet.

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