Ellen MacArthur Food Initiative

This Action aligns to the following Calls to Action from the Circular Economy Action Agenda for Food: 

2. Scale Productive and Regenerative Agriculture Practices

4. Better Understand Hotspots of Food Loss and Waste

7. Reframe Wasted Food and Byproducts as Valuable Resources





Led by

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, an international charity, committed to the creation of a circular economy that tackles some of the biggest challenges of our time, such as climate change and biodiversity loss. Driven by design, a circular economy eliminates waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use, and regenerates natural systems, creating benefits for society, the environment, and the economy. 


Long term ambition

The Ellen MacArthur Food Initiative seeks to create unstoppable momentum towards a regenerative food system based on the principles of a circular economy.



  • The linear food system is ripe for disruption. While the industrial food system has generated many benefits, it is also highly extractive and wasteful, proving to be unfit to feed the world in a way that is healthy both for people and natural systems in the long term

  • The circular economy offers a vision for a food system fit for the future

  • Cities can trigger a shift to a better food system. Businesses, public bodies, organisations, and people within cities can accelerate the global transition to a healthy, regenerative food system underpinned by circular economy principles



  • Mobilise a cross-sector public-private stakeholder consortium to realise the circular model for food in cities around the world

  • Illustrate the vision with a number of city demonstrator projects


Project description

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation's Cities and Circular Economy for Food report has highlighted the often-underappreciated role urban food actors can play to drive food system transformation. It demonstrated that using the catalytic potential of cities to spark change can be a powerful addition to the landscape of efforts needed to transform our relationship with food, highlighting that now is the time to make it happen. The Food initiative is activating unprecedented collaboration to mobilise the vision laid out in the Cities and Circular Economy for Food report. 



Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Unilever, Veolia and Yara International, Danone, Nestlé, Mizkan, Novamont, Mava Foundation, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, DOEN Foundation, and Porticus (Philanthropic partners), The cities of Sao Paulo, New York, and London (Strategic Partners and demonstration cities), Google (Knowledge partner)