The Horizon 2020 research project FoodE develops solutions to improve the sustainability of local food systems. The project’s activities could help equip City/Region Food Systems (CRFS) with the capacity to withstand the challenges stemming from the Covid-19 outbreak. To assess the implications of the pandemic on food systems, FoodE prepares a comprehensive policy paper.
The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic has posed several challenges to food systems worldwide. Supply chains experienced severe disruptions. The relationships between producers and consumers were mostly mediated by conventional distribution channels, often at the expenses of small-scale shops and farmers’ markets. The situation requires urgent and integrated actions able to support cities and governments in rethinking the sustainability and the resilience of food systems.
The FoodE consortium recognises this as a crucial moment for action. FoodE is a H2020 research project launched in 2020, coordinated by the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences of the University of Bologna. The consortium consists of highly qualified research institutes, cities, small and medium enterprises and non-governmental organisations around Europe. FoodE aims at involving European Union’s local food initiatives in the design, implementation and monitoring of environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable CRFS.
By adopting a CRFS approach, FoodE aims at developing innovative solutions that contribute to the design of more sustainable and resilient food systems . The project helps address the challenges emerged during the Covid-19 outbreak. FoodE prepared a position paper entitled ‘The future of food systems beyond Covid-19: the FoodE vision for a more resilient Europe’ to share its vision on the impact of the pandemic on the food systems outlook. The FoodE community will take advantage of the multi-stakeholder approach of the project to promote technological and social innovation initiatives across Europe. This will create the basis for a fairer and a more inclusive sustainable food system.
Understanding the Covid-19’ impact on CRFS offers lens of analysis of several components. The crisis allows to analyse the reaction and the structural changes of the food sector along with the business model transformations through new evolving technologies.
Only by “thinking globally and acting locally”, we will be able to design the food system we want.