The FoodSHIFT 2030 project is a multi-stakeholder consortium composed of 30 partners, 9 SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises); 7 NGOs (non-governmental organizations); 7 municipalities and 7 research institutes from 12 different countries, featuring both old and new member states distributed across the EU. The consortium stakeholders have been carefully selected to meet the challenges of the FoodSHIFT 2030 project. At the heart of the project are the FoodSHIFT Accelerator Labs, located in Greater Athens, Avignon, Barcelona, Berlin, Bari, Brasov, Greater Copenhagen, Oostende, and Wroclaw.
The challenges of the FoodSHIFT 2030 project at a glance
- Accelerate the development of citizen-driven food system solutions through maturing, combining, and upscaling sustainable food system innovations in European city-regions.
- Propagate the transition of the food system by establishing a mechanism for multiplying the acceleration of citizen-driven food system solutions.
- Support the empowerment of citizens in all European and global city-regions to influence the way their food is produced, distributed, consumed, and recycled through co-constructing a citizen empowerment scheme.
- Facilitate job creation and business development in the European food sector through co-designing a job creation platform providing targeted information for different stakeholder groups, including SMEs, NGOs, municipalities, and citizens.
- Enable fast assessment of the impacts of food system innovations on the Sustainable Development Goals by developing a simplified sustainability scoring system.
The FoodSHIFT Accelerator Labs (FALs)
The Foodshift Accelerator Labs are managed by the FAL core group consisting of a diverse set of complementary food system stakeholders which represent the public sector, private sector, voluntary sector, and academia. Within each FoodSHIFT Accelerator Lab core group is a Lab Leader responsible for the establishment and management of the FAL, a Lab Host responsible for embedding the FAL within the institutional setting, and a Lab Assistant responsible for supporting the Lab leader in facilitating the innovation process. The FoodSHIFT Accelerator Labs will be supported by a wider FAL Steering committee. The FAL steering committee will be set-up by extending the core group with key stakeholders working on food system innovation within the city-region.
Municipalities play a key role in the FoodSHIFT 2030 project and are often part of the FAL core group as Lab Hosts or Lab Leaders. Municipalities also play the role of collecting and managing socio-economic data and being legally in charge of laws and regulations in relation to the relevant areas in which the food system is part of. This means that municipalities will play a role in the shift of food perceptions and translate this into more accessible legislation for food system change. The municipalities involved in the FoodSHIFT 2030 project have established their roles progressively within the relevant focus of the food sectors related to the goals of the FoodSHIFT Accelerator Labs.
Municipalities experience in the food sector include (7)
- Lejre Municipality – with extensive experience in stakeholder involvement for societal development. The program ‘Lejre – The Organic Municipality’ has developed a diverse network of food system stakeholders across the region.
- The City of Ostend has substantial European project experience regarding urban city transformations and has been running many projects at the local level, amongst the award-winning urban agricultural park ‘Gardens of Stene’.
- Mairie d’Avignon has core competence in the improvement of the quality of public-school food procurement, aiming for healthy and sustainable food both in school meals and at home.
- The Municipality of Pallini specializes in preventive health care, psychological counseling, and social support for families and individuals as well as lifelong training.
- The Città Metropolitana di Bari has implemented a string of social innovation initiatives and has built up a record in recovering abandoned arable lands in the wider region with the goal of promoting social and labor inclusion addressed to young people.
- Municipality of Wroclaw has many years of project experience at the international and national level, using innovative mechanisms of supporting citizens in urban farming processes.
- The Brasov Metropolitan Agency for Sustainable Development offers operational capacity for participating in multi-national consortiums of public/private organizations and has a proven track record of coordinating local/regional groups of stakeholders.
Small-medium enterprises (SMEs)
Small-medium enterprises are often considered the heart of sustainable food systems, with already-developed innovative approaches towards food chain design, new products, and resource efficiency alongside progressive social innovation involving local citizens and experts. There are a variety of SMEs involved in the FoodSHIFT 2030 project, with extensive food system experience and expert knowledge to contribute towards actions on food system change.
SMEs involved in FoodSHIFT 2030 (9)
- Circular Food Technology contributes with expertise in food manufacturing, food technology development, food product development as well as data management and analytics. Circular Food Technology has unique experience in the transformation of industrial food waste streams – from breweries into food and proteins.
- Agrathaer GmbH is deeply rooted in sociology, environmental science, law, economics, and IT – all related to sustainable (urban) food systems and part of their approach towards innovation brokerage.
- Ellinogermaniki Agogi (EA) has a long-standing record for formal and informal learning combined with Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) principles.
- DRAXIS Environmental Technologies have practical experience with impact assessment, waste management, planning of waste prevention strategies and campaigns, and development of monitoring indicators and procedures.
- Highclere Consulting SRL have extensive rural networking experience at both EU-level and national level in Romania. They have practical research management skills, making use of comprehensive knowledge of local food systems and short food supply chain initiatives. They are joined by Iceberg Consulting SRL which hosts a large network of hubs, running acceleration programs, technology transfer centers, and startup-focused projects throughout the Brasov region.
- Iceberg has grown into an ecosystem of multi-disciplinary experts providing strategy, consulting, digital and technology services across Central & Eastern Europe.
- NextFood has practical experience in running a community farm at a food market whilst developing an open source soilless aeroponic grow system, applying citizen-driven community principles at each level.
- As the lead SME for Innovation Management, SUSMETRO has decades of experience in leading international research projects at the interface between policy and science. SUSMETRO is very familiar with European Data sets and policies. Among their core competences is the organization of living labs, the use of digital map table technology, and serious gaming as well as the development of geo-design support tools and models for multi-stakeholder interaction.
- Plant Jammer Aps has developed a string of IT solutions based on digital knowledge transfer for online marketing addressing customer demand regarding the transition from meat-based to plant-based food.
Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs)
Non-governmental organizations are important for food system transformation due to their increasing involvement with public participation, grassroots movements, information campaigns and political networking. NGOs in the FoodSHIFT 2030 project will contribute to enacting circular visions and strategies of the food system.
NGOs involved in the FoodSHIFT 2030 project (7)
- The Berlin Food Policy Council has developed a comprehensive white paper for the transformation of the food system for the region of Berlin-Brandenburg.
- They receive support from THF.VISION, which has large networks of people, institutions, and organizations in and around Berlin. THF. VISION is also the site manager for the Tempelhof building.
- Fab Lab Barcelona at IAAC has developed circular economy strategies for implementation at the urban scale.
- Fundacja EkoRozwoju has substantial knowledge and social skills in the field of sustainable development through giving classes for organized groups and the general public, including the development of CSA (community supported agriculture) groups.
- The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM): is the secretariat of the European Technology Platform for Organic Food and Farming. They successfully channel research and innovation priorities of the organic sector & views of civil society to policymakers.
- Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming is working with over 60 towns and cities tackling issues such as food poverty, sustainable fish, and promoting healthier food.
- EAT is a science-based platform for global food transformation which bases its work on scaling bold systems change using the values of solid science, accelerating impact through collaboration, delivering disruptive solutions, diversity, fairness, and equity.
Research institutes involved in the FoodSHIFT 2030 project have previously worked on international projects and communicating with national and international business and policy networks. This is a multi-disciplinary environment in which research institutes can thrive on state-of-the-art international knowledge and tools in the field of sustainable food systems, participatory processes and modelling.
Research Institutes involved in the FoodSHIFT 2030 project (7)
- Project coordinator, University of Copenhagen has experience in environmental impact assessment, knowledge of food production and consumption, the development and use of environmental indicators as well as food chain innovation.
- CIHEAM is strong in promoting youth entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector and food production solutions by exploiting new forms of collaborative short food supply chains in urban and rural areas.
- Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food (EV ILVO) has its core competence in the field of participatory stakeholder processes for knowledge co-creation, the validation and exploitation of research output and have many years of practical experience with urban and peri-urban agriculture.
- The participating scientists from the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) are experts in modeling land system dynamics for highlighting the interactions between agriculture, food systems and biodiversity at several levels. They perform both qualitative and statistical analyses for use in participative approaches with local stakeholders.
- The Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) has a long-standing history in land use innovation research and arable land management. Their specialization is food governance at various levels in the light of changing societal demands.
- The University of Milan brings in their expertise on economic analysis at producers, value chain, and consumer level. From previous projects, both ZALF and UoM bring in experience on urban and peri-urban agriculture as well as on food policies.
- The competence of Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences (WUELS) is a well-developed research infrastructure addressing technology in bio-business and production of the new-generation, healthy food, international project coordination.
The rich variety of actors involved in the FoodSHIFT 2030 project reflect on the need for a contemporary, diverse approach to food system transformation. This will ensure that implemented strategies in the FoodSHIFT Accelerator Labs have the maximum potential for impact and most importantly, food system change to more plant-based choices that support resilient, local production.