There is a growing evidence and consensus that a food systems-based approach to Research and Innovation is crucial for effectively addressing the large and systemic challenges the European food systems are facing. Such a food systems approach attempts to understand the natural, technical, economic and social aspects of several interlinked activity areas from primary agriculture to logistics,
processing, transforming and packaging of food to marketing, and consuming and the linkages between these elements. A food system approach towards Research and Innovation integrates the bio-physical focus with an actor-based approach, which enables scientists and other actors to address both the ‘what’ questions as well as the question ‘how’ changes and larger scale transformation can be realized. This policy brief contains concrete recommendation on how to put such an approach into the day-to-day practice of designing and implementing R&I programs and projects. This is relevant both at the level of EU, as well as that of Member States.
This study was commissioned by SCAR FOOD SYSTEMS Strategic Working Group. This synthesis builds partly on a commissioned review of food systems science by Thom J. Achterbosch (Wageningen University & Research (WUR), NL), Arthur Getz Escudero (Urban PlanEat, UK), Just D. Dengerink (WUR, NL), Siemen van Berkum (WUR, NL) – Synthesis of existing food systems studies and research projects in Europe.