The EU Green Week partner event “Collaborative and circular food systems to reduce pollution and improve health” brought together 50 people on 27 May 2021.
The event was moderated by ACR+ and started with an introduction from the European Commission on the different instruments available for H2020 projects and the potential benefits of project cooperation. This was followed by a presentation about the Farm2Fork strategy and its contribution to sustainable food systems, including the 2030 targets for sustainable food production (and in particular on food waste prevention) and a set of actions to achieve them.
Afterwards, 5 European projects working in synergies (FOODRUS, CO-FRESH, FAIRCHAIN, LOWINFOOD, PLOUTOS) presented their objectives, their activities, the different approaches on sustainable food systems and how they are upscaling innovative solutions.
The panel discussion touched upon different topics such as the role of research and innovation in the Farm2Fork strategy, the importance of data availability, and the quantification of food losses and waste reduction. Other topics raised were the logistical challenges during the COVID-19 crisis, the FAO Green cities initiative, and the biggest challenges for the transition towards sustainable food systems in the upcoming years.
All the panelists agreed that having a multi-actor approach can boost the impact on the ground, and this is precisely what the five sister projects are doing. Research and innovation are key to enable and accelerate the progress to achieve the targets and objectives of the Farm2Fork strategy. Data is crucial to identify where the problems in the value chain are and therefore take adequate measures to address them. Cooperation between projects is central to exchange best practices and knowledge and to advance towards sustainable food systems.
Regarding remaining questions related to the inclusion of food waste in primary production on the EU food waste definition, the European Commission clarified that food that is not harvested or subject to waste treatment on the farm is not accounted, yet, the Commission intends to investigate this issue further by assessing the amounts of food loss and waste in agriculture and by analysing the measures to reduce these. The upcoming programmes linked to resource efficiency in agriculture and food sustainability, including Horizon Europe and funds within the next Common Agricultural Policy, can also provide opportunities to address this matter.
You can find below the presentations of the speakers and here you can find the recording of the event.