FReSH’s True Cost of Food Discussion Paper identifies the methodological and data gaps that need to be filled to make true cost accounting (TCA) more robust, consistent and user-friendly. It also explores what is required to establish true cost approaches in the business environment, moving TCA from corporate sustainability teams to the desks of CEOs and CFOs. These organizational dimensions are especially critical in making TCA a core tool of strategic business decision-making.
Finally, the paper discusses how to work with NGOs and policy experts to integrate aspects of true cost in long-term planning and implementation, either directly through taxes, incentives and subsidies, or through softer approaches such as public purchasing guidelines. Ultimately, these policy levers could drive widespread and systemic changes in the production and consumption of food – TCA can help us achieve the common goal of healthy and sustainable food systems for all.