France remains leader in 2017 Food Sustainability Index

December 6, 2017

France remains at the top of the 2017 Food Sustainability Index (FSI), thanks to high scores across the FSI’s three pillars of food loss and waste, sustainable agriculture, and nutritional challenges. Developed by The Economist Intelligence Unit with the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition Foundation (BCFN), the FSI ranks 34 countries according to their food system sustainability. These countries represent more than 85% of global GDP and two-thirds of the global population.

Other top-performing countries in the FSI include Japan, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, South Korea, and Hungary. Although high-income countries tend to perform well in the FSI, there are several outliers. Despite having the highest GDP per head, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ranks last, while Ethiopia, the poorest country in the FSI, comes in at a respectable No. 12. In common with other countries in the Arab world, the UAE has a high level of food waste, rising levels of obesity, and receives a low score for sustainable agriculture.

The United States languishes in 21st place, and 31st place in sustainable agriculture. In terms of nutritional challenges, the United States ranks 24th, dragged down by elevated levels of consumption of meat, saturated fat, and sugar content.

“Sustainable food systems are vital in achieving the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” said Martin Koehring, managing editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit. “Major global developments such as climate change, rapid urbanization, tourism, migration flows, and the shift towards Westernized diets put food systems under pressure. The Food Sustainability Index is an important tool to help policymakers and other relevant stakeholders to design effective policies to improve food system sustainability.”

Press release

2017 FSI