Our model

Our vision for the food system

Food production has the greatest impact of humans on the environment: Big Agri’s wasteful and environmentally damaging practices to produce our meals are leading to deforestation, depleting our freshwater reserves and depleting our soils – and are responsible for more than a quarter of global emissions. Meanwhile, about a third of all food produced worldwide is wasted. This is a dangerously reckless approach to feeding the world – and it cannot last. Quite simply, food production driven by profit destroys our chances of feeding us in the future.

We are happy that our model is used by many organizations! Feel free to use, but make sure the source is correctly attributed with the following reference: Model developed by Carina Millstone for Feedback (2017), www.feedbackglobal.org

Our current food system: linear and full of waste


This is our current linear food system. Growing, processing and transporting our food requires a huge amount and wastes a huge amount in the process. Our current food system is constantly growing, requires more and more resources, including land, for example, and further affects nature. And yet we don’t need a bigger food system to feed everyone fairly: we need a better system.

A sustainable food system

We believe there is an alternative. Our vision of the food system is that of a circular food system, which consumes fewer resources to produce food and loses much less food in the form of waste.


A defining principle of our circular food system is that food that used to be considered “waste” actually has value and can be used as a raw material. Ideally, this surplus food is used for the purpose for which it was originally intended: usually this means that if the food is still fit for human consumption, it should feed people. If not, it must be reused to feed livestock and fish, and finally as compost and manure for the soil. All three levels of the food system – people, animals and soil – must be nourished and replenished to create a sustainable future.

Because what used to be considered “waste” is reused, there is less waste pollution from landfill, and fewer resources are needed to produce food (because we use almost everything instead of throwing it away, we need to produce less) . Overproduction and relentless growth are being curbed – meaning no more needless land to be cultivated, allowing the natural environment to flourish and our planet to recover.