France leader in food sustainability

Italy 7th but a 'champion' for sustainable agriculture

(ANSA) - Milan, December 5 - France is a world leader in food sustainability, according to the newly released 2017 Food Sustainability Index (FSI).
    France held on to the top spot, followed by Japan, which came in second also in 2016.
    Germany ranked third, replacing Canada.
    Italy lost a position from 2016 and came in seventh.
    The demotion was also due to the fact that nine additional countries were included in the index compared to 2016, including Sweden and Portugal, which came in respectively fifth and sixth.
    Spain ranked fourth.
    Italy was however a leader in sustainable agriculture, performing better than Germany, which ranked first in 2016 and was third this year after Colombia.
    The 2017 edition of the Food Sustainability Index was presented during the second and last day of the eighth Forum on food and nutrition organized by the Barilla Foundation and the Hangar Bicocca in Milan.
    The index, developed and launched last year by the Intelligence Unit of the Economist in cooperation with the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition, analyzed in this edition the sustainability of the food systems of 34 countries representing 87% of the global GDP and two-thirds of the world's population.
    The FSI was based on three pillars: food waste, sustainable agriculture and nutritional challenges.
    Italy, according to the index, has many positives and a few problematic issues.
    It performed well in terms of the sustainability of its agriculture, ranking first in front of Columbia and Germany.
    In particular, Italy's success was due to an excellent performance in terms of water availability and management.
    Italy also made good progress against waste, rising from ninth in 2016 to fourth this year, behind France, Germany and Spain.
    Italy ranked only 19th however on nutritional challenges.
    A problem was "the percentage of overweight children aged five to 19 (as well as adults) and the low number of people reaching the recommended level of physical activity per week".
    In the global ranking for food sustainability, the United Arab Emirates ranked last, despite being the country with the highest GDP pro capite, while Ethiopia, the poorest country in the list, ranked 12th.
    The United Stated ranked 21st, also due to their 31st position in sustainable agriculture.
    In terms of nutritional challenges, the US gained the 24th spot, mainly due to high consumption of meat and saturated fats, as well as the fact that the average level of sugar in the diet of Americans was the highest among countries in the ranking.