SOFA – 2023 background paper


​The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. With 195 members – 194 countries and the European Union, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide.

​FAO’s State of the World is a collection of the organisation’s flagship reports, consisting of:

  • State of the World’s Forests
  • State of Agricultural Commodity Markets
  • State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • State of Food Security and Nutrition
  • State of Food and Agriculture

Project description

​‘The State of Food and Agriculture’ (SOFA) 2023 report focused on the true cost of food for sustainable agrifood systems. SOFA 2023 introduces the concept of hidden environmental, health and social costs and benefits of agrifood systems and proposes an approach – true cost accounting (TCA) – to assess them.

​The Impact Economy Foundation, with support from Impact Institute, wrote a background paper for SOFA 2023. The paper systematically analysed the state of the current TCA field and how TCA can support agrifood systems transformation.

Added value

​Our paper provides:

  • An overview of steps to perform a TCA study
  • Practical guidance on collecting different types of data
  • Recommendations for scaling the field of true cost accounting

Our paper features:

  • A standardised list of indicators to include in a TCA study
  • Case studies to exemplify how TCA assessments have been used in practice
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English publicationFood TransitionMethodology