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Measuring True Cost of Food Production

How do we measure the true costs of food and put a price on the positive and negative impacts that food production has on the environment, society and public health? This session examines different frameworks and methods for quantifying and monetising these costs and looks at how these can influence farmers, policymakers and investors. There is a strong consensus that working towards a common framework for assessing sustainability will be critically important in undertaking meaningful comparisons between the sustainability of different food and farming systems.
Chaired by Alexander Müller, Study Leader, TEEBAgFood, the speakers in this session present their different approaches and findings and explain how governments, companies and researchers are tackling the challenge of putting monetary value on natural resources, human health and animal welfare. Professor Harpinder Sandhu, Flinders University, presents his method for measuring farm-level sustainability; Nadia Scialabba, Senior Officer for the Environment and Sustainable Development, FAO, explains some of the complexities of developing large frameworks; Professor Eli Fenichel, Yale University, talks about how to ‘operationalise’ tools for assessment; and Levi Stewart, Sector Analyst, Consumption, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, outlines the role of sustainability metrics for guiding investors.

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