The strategic goal of SUSFOOD2 complements the EU bioeconomy and food policies, and aims to reinforce cooperation in research, development and innovation between EU members and associated States in order to maximize the contribution of research to the development of more sustainable food systems from production to consumption.
Global demand for food is expected to rise by at least 60% by 2050. At the same time the food supply chain is under pressure due to limited resources, water scarcity, soil degradation, biodiversity loss and the impacts of climate change. More than one third of the food produced in the world today is lost or wasted. Our food system has experienced huge transformation during the last century with changes in dietary preferences impacting on consumer health and food availability (e.g. increasing non-communicable diseases and obesity).
To meet these challenges we need to strengthen a sustainable* food system providing opportunities for all stakeholders to develop a secure, resilient and competitive sector.
The scope of SUSFOOD covers the entire food supply chain with the main focus on food chain sustainability beyond the farm gate**. The farm level will be considered if it has direct impact on the sustainability of the other steps in the food chain.
SUSFOOD2 promotes a cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach from biology to food engineering and social sciences. It addresses the following socio-economic and environmental goals:
- To develop sustainable food systems from production to consumption, to increase food production sustainably while reducing waste in food supply chain and limiting environmental impacts;
- To improve the quality of life by improving food quality in a sustainable way and to ensure the resilience of the food supply chain;
- To encourage sustainable consumer behaviours and food choices;
- To improve competitiveness and economic growth in the European food industry with special attention to SMEs.
*SUSFOOD defines sustainability as: “A food system that supports food security, makes optimal use of natural and human resources, and respects biodiversity and ecosystems for present and future generations, and which is culturally acceptable and accessible, environmentally sound and economically fair and viable, and provides the consumer with nutritionally adequate, safe, healthy and affordable food"
**Primary production from both land and sea