Food as a Nexus between Health, Economy & Environments

On 31 October 2019, the Food Lab hosted a high-level interactive dialogue in Pretoria with leading representatives from state, civil society, private sector and academia to review recent evidence emerging from food environments research, and formulate a practical agenda to promote health, nature and an equitable economy.


This dialogue was a collaboration between the Southern Africa Food Lab, the ROFE Project at the University of Western CapeWWF South Africa, and the SHEFS project at the Centre for Food Policy at City University London, who are bringing together important perspectives around the following questions:

How does food connect health, economy and nature?


What should be done to promote environments that enable healthy and sustainable eating?


What alliances and networks could promote policy alignment for healthy and sustainable food systems?


The platforms intended to allow a broad set of actors across sectors and stakeholders to engage in the broader food system in South Africa. This platform enabled participants to learn, engage and discuss so as to trigger new insights, connections and possible solutions to the challenges we face.

In particular we entered into dialogue about the complexity created in the nexus between food, poverty, health, nutrition, nature and economics – and sought ways to address these challenges.

Objectives of the work:


  • To deepen our knowledge about what is happening within the food system to make visible the dimensions.
  • Having made ‘sense of the system’, to consider our own role and that of others in addressing the challenge and the need to work differently.


We achieved this through a number of provocations presented by leading food system thinkers interspersed with multi-stakeholder group discussions. The groups engaged in facilitated conversations to move us toward a new agenda. Each group was pre-assigned to ensure a diversity of perspectives.


View the full report here.


For more information on this event, contact

Graphic harvesting from the event.