Food systems

Food systems thinking is essential to address the food and nutrition security challenge for Pacific countries and territories. In simple terms, a food system is that set of interacting elements and outcomes that describe the production, processing, trade, and consumption of food. Food systems are complex, and the flow of information and evidence is critical to improve knowledge of food system dynamics and outcomes. Well-functioning food systems are essential to food and nutrition security.

Food Systems are a Key Focal area within the SPC strategic plan, and SPC is developing an integrated programme of work to address the multi-faceted opportunities and challenges for food systems in the Blue Pacific. Within this programme SDD and regional partners are collaborating with The University of Wollongong, CSIRO, WorldFish and the University of Sydney to fill critical gaps in understanding regional, national and local food systems. The project is funded by the Australian Government through ACIAR projects FIS/2016/300 and FIS 2018/155.

On this page we gather a range of information that contribute to regional understanding of Pacific food systems. New resources will be added as they are completed.

Food System Briefs

SPC and partners are working hard on many fronts to build an evidence base for decision-making in the region. This series of evidence briefs is designed to improve the flow of information to policy makers and other stakeholders to achieve food and nutrition security in the Pacific region. The SPC Food Systems Briefs series is designed to accelerate the flow of quantitative information to policy makers. New briefs will be added to the series as analyses reach milestones or points where conclusions are ready to be disseminated. We launch the series with five briefs and will add more at regular intervals:

Food Consumption Reports

In this series of reports, SDD, NSOs and FAO report on food acquisition and consumption analyses based on national household income and expenditure surveys (HIES). The analyses utilize the FAO/WorldBank software ADePT-FSM to provide consistent food and nutrient consumption statistics from food consumption data collected in HIES. Three national analyses have been completed in this series, and more will be added as they are completed:

Food Security Profiles

This series of profiles provide national snapshots for a range of SDG-oriented indicators. Analyses were conducted in collaboration with national statistics offices and FAO. Information is included on demographics, poverty, food security, food consumption, nutrition, and the adequacy of diets. Completed analyses include those for:  

Pacific Nutrient Database (PNDB)

The PNDB is designed to facilitate analyses of nutrition and food security data sourced from household income and expenditure surveys. Through its concordance with international food and consumption classifications, the database will facilitate rapid and comparable consumption-oriented analysis. These analyses will guide evidence-based policy to support vulnerable populations, such as those who are in poverty and those who are food insecure. SDD developed the PNDB in collaboration FAO and University of Wollongong.

Information, data and downloads:

Pre-COVID Baseline Matrix

The unprecedented impact of COVID-19 prompted a rush of initiatives to gather data on economic and social impacts and shocks resulting from the pandemic. For comparability purposes, it’s important to have access to pre-COVID-19 baseline information, which will serve as a benchmark to evaluate the impact that the pandemic has had on Pacific economies and households, and to identify populations that are most vulnerable in terms of health and economic fallout.

This series of fact sheets was developed by the SDD in collaboration with national statistics offices. The fact sheets highlight a range of metrics such as education and labour profiles, and the source and types of foods that were mainly consumed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fact sheets below were produced mainly using the most recent HIES data from nine countries.