Request for proposals: Analysing Urban Influence on Global Food Sustainability

Building The Field
Laudes Foundation seeks an independent research or consultancy team to help us understand the strategic role cities play in shaping the food industry. The aim is to enhance the synergy between cities and the food sector to foster a shift towards sustainable and healthy food options.
Complete proposals must be submitted to Silvia Ursu ( by Monday, 18th March 2024, 11:59 CEET. Access the full request for proposals here.
Laudes Foundation is an independent foundation committed to advancing the transition to a green, fair and inclusive economy. We do this by supporting brave action that will inspire and challenge industry to harness its power for good. Action that inspires industry, to work collaboratively to create solutions and tools. And action that challenges industry, holding it to account and incentivizing change. Founded in 2020, Laudes Foundation is part of the Brenninkmeijer family enterprise and builds on six generations of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. In particular, we advance the industry-changing work of C&A Foundation. As an organisation committed to learning, we work to persistently and collaboratively influence capital markets and transform industry.
Background and context
The food system contributes to up to 20% of global GDP and employs 1 billion people (40% of the working population) from individual farmers up to powerful global multinationals. It is deeply entwined with climate breakdown (roughly a third of global emissions), poverty and population health, as well as food insecurity and tipping points in planetary boundaries. As the world population grows to 10 billion, feeding everyone is possible, but only if we change the way we eat and produce food. 
Laudes is premised on the idea that faster change happens with and through business and we support brave action to inspire and challenge industry to transition to a green, fair and inclusive economy. We believe that we can play a role in supporting the transformation of the food industry and that this is urgent for tackling both the climate crisis and rising inequality.
Having seen the political nature of the global and national challenges in the food system, our attention turned to sub-national and city level dynamics. As well as moving quickly on net zero emissions targets, cities play a pivotal role in the trajectory of global food sustainability, as they desire healthy, affordable food for their citizens, with short, resilient supply chains to ensure food security. The influence of urban centres presents both challenges and opportunities in steering the food markets towards more sustainable, affordable and health-conscious practices.
Purpose and scope
This consultancy project seeks to critically analyse the strategic role cities play in shaping the food industry by:
  • Investigating the relationship and potential for collaboration between urban centres and the global food industry, specifically focusing on retailers and food service companies, to promote sustainable, healthy and affordable food consumption. Identify potential future win-wins beyond current cooperation.
  • Identifying current practices and positive signs of change, assess the willingness for future collaboration (both among cities, global food retailers and global food services providers),
  • Exploring mechanisms through which food industry players can adapt their supply chains to be more shorter and more sustainable.
  • Proposing interventions that could facilitate deeper collaboration between cities and the food industry to shift demand towards sustainable, healthy and affordable products.
  • Examining the influence of policy support (national, sub-national or city level) on the industry's capacity to transition towards sustainable practices.
The consultancy encompasses the following areas:
  • Collaboration Dynamics: Examine the existing and potential collaborative efforts between urban centres and the food industry to enhance demand for sustainablee, affordable and healthy food. Use case studies wherever applicable. Some examples of interventions that should in any case be included: food procurement by municipalities, food infrastructure, permits, zoning, marketing regulations and school programmes.
  • Intervention Strategies: Develop actionable recommendations for both urban policymakers and the food industry to strengthen their partnership in promoting sustainable food consumption. Estimate the potential impact of these recommendations and initiatives.
  • Supply Chain Management: Analyse the current state of supply chains in the food industry and identify opportunities for integrating sustainable practices. Specifically, focus on the ability of food retailers and food services providers to influence their supply chains.
  • Policy Environment: Assess the impact of local, national, and international policies on fostering or hindering sustainable practices within the food industry. Consider the consequences of the COP 28 agreements on transition pathways for food systems on both cities and industry players. Specifically, focus on the opinion of food retailers and food services providers on existing policies and their effectiveness in driving demand for more sustainable, healthy and affordable food (1) and a quick scan of food policies implemented on national and local levels within the largest food markets (2).
Expected deliverables and timeframe
The consultant is expected to deliver:
  • A comprehensive report (preferably in slide deck format) detailing the findings of the research, including an analysis of collaboration dynamics, proposed interventions for enhanced sustainability (including quantified estimated impact), policy impacts and supply chain adaptability.
  • Practical recommendations for fostering effective urban-industry collaborations towards sustainable food practices.
  • A presentation summarizing key findings and recommendations for dissemination to stakeholders.
Expected time needs: 6 weeks in April and May 2024
Building The Field