Food has a twin identity: it has an important role in the unprecedented global challenges we face. But, on the other hand, it can be a central component of the solutions for these global challenges and thus also meeting the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals. A well-established Food System Approach is essential to come up with the game changing solutions needed.
However, the Food System involves complex interactions among the different actors in the different parts of the value chain and value net. We see that actors of the value net often work in do not work together, do not meet each other, thus act as independent silos. As such, the role of consumers and citizens as consumers are strongly undervalued. This makes the impetus to encourage stronger involvement of European citizens an even bigger challenge.
A transition from the current unsustainable food system to a healthy, circular and resource-efficient paradigm is essential. Such transitions will be hugely complex, since the multiple patterns of food production and consumption are closely interconnected and changing one aspect can easily have major unintended consequences. Therefore substantial actions are needed which must be driven both by science as well as the values and engagement of European citizens’.
FOODforce has identified and synthesised three major gaps “Lines of Actions” and two overaching suggestions for Horizon Europe Project design, to turn the complexity of today´s unsustainable food System into a healthy, circular and resource efficient future food system. Based on that, a FOODforce position paper "Food System Approach" has been developed. The main objective of this position paper is to give clear and tangible suggestions, based on Hands-on experience of FOODforce members, to EC Policy officers for designing programmes in the Framework of Horizon Europe, in all inter-connected aspects of research, innovation, business creation, rural development and a sustainable Agri-Food system, and as such contributing to the FOOD2030 strategy.