The sustainable food voucher is currently the subject of considerable political attention and expectations. It is indeed presented as an instrument that can reconcile several objectives: the fight against food insecurity, the agroecological transition and the food transition. While discussions are ongoing within the French administrations and with stakeholders, this Note analyses and describes the characteristics of a voucher system that contributes to sustainable and accessible food.

Key Messages

  • The voucher constitutes a new budget for the fight against food insecurity in a context of worsening and widening situations of insecurity. Nevertheless, the voucher cannot be a relevant response to situations of extreme poverty, and must therefore be considered as complementary to other solidarity policies.
  • The sustainable food voucher can contribute to an equitable and fair food transition trajectory, provided that a debate on the method and means of its development is opened. We propose the theoretical bases and a tool for such a discussion.
  • While seemingly straightforward, the design and implementation of a sustainable food voucher actually presents significant technical and political challenges.
  • We make 10 proposals for a sustainable food voucher to overcome these difficulties and meet the social and environmental challenges.
  • The food transition is inseparable from the dimensions of equity and solidarity. Thus, the sustainability requirements aimed at the most modest via a food voucher should also be the concern of other social groups: this calls for reforming the framework of meal vouchers, also subsidized by the State.
  • The voucher is based on a political framework whose limits are shown by the food sciences. In the longer term, an evolution of this framework is necessary to allow the mobilization of more global and effective approaches.
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