It’s time to raise ambition. The next three-year phase of our Food initiative has begun and brings together the collaborative, international efforts of industry leaders and pioneering cities. We’re going to concentrate on delivering solutions for a healthy, regenerative food system.

About the initiative

Following the publication of the Cities and Circular Economy for Food report at the World Economic Forum in Davos (January 2019), the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched the Food initiative. Over the next three years, we will bring together key actors to stimulate a global shift towards a regenerative food system based on the principles of a circular economy.

The initiative will engage 20+ cities on a journey to a circular economy for food with London, New York, and São Paulo as Flagship Cities. The Participant Cities - Almere, Barcelona, Lisbon, Milan, Porto, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Sevilla, Toronto, and Torres Vedras (with more to be announced) will further accelerate implementation efforts. Municipalities, local and global businesses, and resource managers will work together in new ways to drive real systemic change.

The Food initiative will activate unprecedented collaboration to mobilise the vision laid out in the Cities and Circular Economy for Food report. Food brands, producers, retailers, governments, innovators, waste managers, and other food players are all working towards three main ambitions based on circular economy thinking.

Achieving these three ambitions in cities could generate annual benefits worth USD 2.7 trillion by 2050

Cceff Report Graphic

1. Source food grown regeneratively, and locally where appropriate

Food comes from natural systems which are inherently regenerative. Replicating these practices will improve the overall health of local ecosystems, diversify the food supply to increase resilience, reduce packaging needs, and shorten supply chains. Urban and peri-urban farming will see connections strengthened with food and the farmers who grow it.

2. Make the most of food

Cities play a crucial role in keeping food at its highest value and eliminating waste. They can become hubs for the redistribution of surplus foods and a thriving bioeconomy where food by-products are transformed into organic fertilisers, biomaterials, medicines, and bioenergy.

3. Design and market healthier food products

There are no healthy food choices in an unhealthy food system. We can change food design and marketing to reshape our preferences and habits. This will ensure that healthy products become easily accessible, while valuable nutrients circulate back to the soil safely.


Cities & CE For Food

Shifting to a Circular Economy for Food



Summary of findings

Executive Summary


Technical appendix



City Analysis Instructions

Download the PDF



City Benefits Tool

Download the XLS



To get in touch with the Food in initiative team, please contact:

With the support of:

Core Partners

Philanthropic Partner

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