International Benchmarking Coalition

An International Coalition for Benchmarking the Food Industry

A coalition with the aim of getting Governments, businesses, civil society and investors to use consistent metrics for assessing the food industry’s role in food system transformation at both national and global levels.


The private sector has a key role in driving change, particularly the food industry and those who invest in it. Supermarkets, caterers and restaurant chains can influence the required shifts in consumption and production, as both gatekeepers to our diets and the funnel through which most commercially produced food is channelled. Investors in these businesses can also provide crucial impetus by both setting expectations on business performance and by making the decision on where their funds are invested.

Despite this, we still lack a consensus on what metrics the food industry should be using and how we can track industry progress towards healthy, just and sustainable food systems. This makes it hard for Governments, civil society and investors to engage with the food industry and hold them accountable. The World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA) and The Food Foundation are developing a methodology and toolkit that can be applied at a national and global scale so that other organisations and Governments can assess the food industry in their countries in an aligned way, without having to reinvent the wheel.


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We have been collaborating with WBA on an aligned methodology for assessing companies across the food & agriculture value chain on their progress towards food systems transformation. Our “national spotlight” methodology (Plating Up Progress) that has been tried and tested here in the UK for the last 3 years is deliberately aligned with the WBA’s global methodology, so that national companies that aren’t picked up by WBA’s global benchmark (they benchmark the 350 largest companies), are assessed in the same way.

Building on these existing benchmarks, we are in the process of developing a toolkit that will allow organisations in their own countries to carry out assessments using a consistent set of metrics and to learn from each other on best practice approaches to engaging important stakeholders such as investors and Governments. After hosting an Independent UN Food Systems Summit Dialogue (UNFSSD) it became evident that organisations in other countries would also like to implement “national spotlights” and would find a toolkit of this kind useful. It was also clear that a range of cultural, economic, political and geographical factors pose specific food-related challenges in different countries. As a result, an approach to benchmarking the food industry in one country may not work in exactly the same way in another.

International Discussion Paper: Exploring the practicalities of benchmarking food industries in different countries and contexts

So that the toolkit we develop is relevant and implementable, we have convened a coalition of like-minded organisations who can work with us to develop it. The aim of the coalition is to co-create a toolkit for tracking progress in the food industry in different countries around the world. The group will be coordinated by The Food Foundation and WBA with support from other organisations.

Asks of the group are:

  1. Three meetings to develop the toolkit and provide feedback on how it could be adapted or improved
  2. A final review session to discuss next steps and the possibility of securing future funding to implement the first pilot national spotlights

Intended outcomes of the coalition are:

  1. To support, via consultation, the development of the toolkit and appropriate metrics for assessing the food industry’s role in system transformation at both national and global levels
  2. To review and enhance the toolkit and engagement best practices based on the learnings of the pilot projects
  3. To gather interested parties who could potentially pilot the toolkit in other countries in 2022

Get in touch

If you are interested in joining the coalition or finding out more about this work then please contact Chloe MacKean:


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