Conscious Food Systems Alliance
Cultivating Inner Capacities for Regenerative Food Systems
"I used to think that the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought with 30 years of good science we could address those problems. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed and apathy... And to deal with these we need a spiritual and cultural transformation."Gustave Speth
The Conscious Food Systems Alliance (CoFSA), is a movement of food, agriculture, and consciousness practitioners, convened by UNDP, and united around a common goal: to support people from across food and agriculture systems to cultivate the inner capacities that activate systemic change and regeneration.
We aim to complement existing approaches; exploring ways to integrate evidence-based consciousness approaches and practices such as nature-connection, compassion, mindfulness, non-violent communication, and self-reflection, into food systems initiatives. These practices foster the awareness, connection and creativity that can unlock structural solutions.
CoFSA aims to do this by:
- Pioneering the application of consciousness approaches and practices across food systems, through a global portfolio of interventions, including the delivery of trainings, coaching and facilitation services, supported by research and learning frameworks
- Establishing a Community of Practice and Learning, within which individuals and organizations can connect, learn and exchange knowledge, support and inspire each other, and collaborate to build conscious food systems.
The initiative originates in a decade’s work by the Green Commodities Programme (GCP) to address the sustainability challenges of highly-traded agricultural commodities through multi-stakeholder cooperation and dialogue. The challenges faced during this time led Andrew Bovarnick and his team to understand that technical solutions are not by themselves enough to bring about systemic change. Even where programmes seek to enable cooperation, the inner human aspects of food and agriculture systems are too often overlooked, with the result that appropriate structural and policy solutions are not sufficiently adopted, implemented and scaled.
Read more about our mission & approach in the CoFSA Manifesto and Rationale for Action Report.
CoFSA approaches food systems transformation through collaboration with all relevant stakeholders across food systems. Across the world, our 100+ members include consciousness practitioners, companies, governments, development agencies, academia, global and local non-governmental organizations, local communities, farmers and food producers.
By joining the Alliance, members become part of a pioneering global movement of practitioners dedicated to fostering the consideration and cultivation of inner capacities for regenerative food systems.
The Alliance activities are centred on four main pillars:
- Connect & Practice:
CoFSA brings together an intentional community of peers supporting one another and journeying together toward conscious food systems.
Members have the opportunity to connect with peers and discover like-minded people through our gatherings and monthly coffee chats. Also, they have the opportunity to join collective practices such as deep listening, mindful eating, and meditations.
CoFSA enables members to form partnerships for deep collaboration. Members draw on each other’s experience and expertise to collaborate on specific issues and initiatives through dedicated self-organized action groups hosted in the Digital Platform. One action group already established is the Global Network of Local Hubs.
Global Network of Local Hubs
An action group is currently developing CoFSA’s Global Network of Local Hubs. The network aims to facilitate an equitable exchange of knowledge and experience across local centers offering conscious food learning programs and retreats and to empower members to co-create and provide programmes for a broad range of stakeholders.
Towards this aim, the group is holding Collaborative Learning & Action sessions with an emerging group of 24 organizations from across 20+ countries, to enable hubs to share learning and solutions on specific challenges and find support and inspiration through the network. The sessions also serve as a framework for the collaborative development of a Conscious Food and Farming curriculum, based on learning for head, heart, and hands, led by Schumacher College.
CoFSA members pioneer the application of consciousness approaches and practices into food systems, through a global Portfolio of Interventions, supported by an Incubator, including the delivery of trainings, coaching and facilitation services, supported by research and learning frameworks.
Interventions are led by members, who collaborate to develop and implement pilots and prototypes, with a commitment to share learning with the Alliance. The role of the Secretariat is to advise on the design and support members to form partnerships, access tools and expertise, and share lessons learnt through the community.
CoFSA Interventions focus on working with governments, companies, farmers and development practitioners to support food systems transformation across three main areas:
- Sustainable Landscapes (including Conscious Farming and Local Community Development, and Amplifying Traditional Wisdom);
- Food Systems Policy and Pathways (including Food Policy Reform, and Multistakeholder Dialogues);
- Supply Chain Transformation (including Cultural Transformation of Organizations and Conscious Consumption).
CoFSA is committed to working with a diversity of consciousness approaches and practices which actively support the cultivation of inner capacities, into interventions that support the transformation of food systems, at individual, group and institutional levels.
CoFSA’s principles to cultivating inner capacities emphasizes the need for context-specific and culturally relevant interventions, founded on respect and equity, as well as awareness of power dynamics. These interventions should be supported by a diversity of evidence and knowledge.
ICoFSA offers a wide range of trainings delivered by its members in a variety of consciousness approaches and practices, including compassion, nature connection, somatic bodywork, emotional awareness, non-violent communication, mindfulness and self-reflection. Practices are tailored to specific audiences in the context of food systems transformation.
- Reflect & Learn:
Webinars & Events
CoFSA offers webinars, dialogues and events to inquire into key issues for conscious food systems with the aim of harnessing collective intelligence, generating insights and sharing learning.
Sharing learnings and best practices
CoFSA gathers and shares lessons learnt and best practices from the experience of its members in implementing relevant interventions. CoFSA also collects case studies that showcase the amazing work of its members.
Read more about conscious food initiatives led by members in the CoFSA Case Study collection.
To join the Conscious Food Systems Alliance and become part of a thriving community dedicated to cultivating the inner capacities for regenerative food systems, you can submit an application form here.
Thomas Legrand, CoFSA Lead Technical Advisor:
Noemi Altobelli, CoFSA Community Manager:
Alice Jervoise, CoFSA Coordinator: