The Big Food Redesign

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The Big Food Redesign
Type: Studies
Year: 2021
Language: English
Regenerating Nature With the Circular Economy

The circular economy is increasingly recognised as a solutions framework to address global challenges like climate change and biodiversity loss. Moving towards a food system that builds natural capital and that is pro-nature, i.e. one that allows nature to thrive, is an essential part of the transition to a circular economy. While the current food system has sustained a growing population and brought economic development, much of it is essentially ‘linear’ and extractive, particularly in more developed markets. It is wasteful, polluting, and depletive, and is the primary driver of biodiversity loss and accounts for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions.

This study aims to add to the existing landscape of food system efforts and studies by:

  • Identifying the significant opportunity for FMCGs and retailers to catalyse a rapid transition towards a nature-positive food system
  • Exploring how circular design for food can be fully leveraged as the approach to realise such an outcome
  • Analysing the economics of circular design opportunities for a select number of food types in the EU and the UK, using a replicable approach
  • Laying out what businesses and policymakers can do to accelerate progress on this agenda


Ellen MacArthur Foundation, The big food redesign: Regenerating nature with the circular economy (2021)