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Research and innovation

Food 2030

The EU’s research and innovation policy to support the transition towards sustainable, healthy and inclusive food systems. Main aims, focus areas under Horizon Europe, timeline and publications.

What is Food 2030?

Food 2030 is the EU's research and innovation policy framework supporting the transition towards sustainable, healthy and inclusive food systems, that respect planetary boundaries.

It is in line with, and supports the goals of the European Green Deal, Farm to Fork strategy and Bioeconomy strategy. Food 2030 is underpinned by the need to foster a multi-actor and systemic approach to research and innovation capable of delivering co-benefits for people’s health, our climate, our planet and communities.

Why food systems need to change

Our food systems today are unsustainable. They are both affected by and drivers of

  • climate change
  • resources scarcity
  • pollution and waste
  • environmental degradation
  • loss of biodiversity
  • population growth
  • malnutrition and diet-related non-communicable disease

How the policy works

Food 2030 sets out a vision for research and innovation that covers the entire food system, linking multiple sectors from primary production (from land and water) to food processing, retail and distribution, packaging, waste and recycling, food services and consumption.

It joins up research and innovation actors and activities in different areas and across disciplines to find answers to interconnected and pressing challenges.

Its ambition is to

  • strengthen the science-policy-society interface
  • improve research and innovation policy coherence and alignment
  • boost and leverage research and innovation funding and investment
  • narrow the innovation gap (the gap between actual innovation and the innovation that is needed)
  • increase market take-up and societal relevance of food systems solutions that can include food products, new ways of doing things, tools and technologies, and services
  • support the role of disruptive technologies, new approaches and business models, as well as social, institutional and governance innovation relevant to the food systems transition

Main goals

The ambition of Food 2030 is to support research and innovation that can deliver co-benefits to these 4 thematic priorities:

Nutrition for sustainable and healthy diets

  • tackling malnutrition and obesity
  • improving nutrition (for example, to support healthy ageing)
  • sourcing and developing new protein alternatives to foster plant-based diets
  • improving food authenticity, traceability and safety systems
  • fostering consumption of forgotten crops for nutrition and resilience
  • supporting the shift towards sustainable healthy diets with a focus on Europe and Africa

Food systems supporting a healthy planet

  • climate-smart food systems that adapt to climate change, preserve natural resources and help reduce the flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere
  • environmentally friendly and resilient food systems that boost biodiversity, ensure healthy ecosystems and soils and foster sustainable agriculture and aquaculture

Circularity and resource efficiency

  • reducing food waste
  • using unavoidable biomass and waste as a resource
  • reducing water and energy use via more efficient and greener industrial processes and logistics
  • providing more local food on demand for short supply-chains
  • fostering sustainable and biodegradable food packaging and reducing plastics in food

Innovation and empowering communities

  • creating thriving innovation ecosystems and living labs that generate new business models, approaches, technologies and products
  • empowering towns, cities, regions and local actors as agents of change
  • fostering education, skills-building and awareness raising and getting people engaged in food science and local food policies
  • supporting a place-based food systems sharing economy from farm to fork and fostering social innovation
  • developing data-driven food and nutrition systems that meet societal needs

11 pathways to achieve the goals

Funding will be made available under Horizon Europe to help find answers to Food 2030 priorities.

It will concentrate on 11 areas known as pathways for action

  1. Governance for food systems change
  2. Urban food system transformation
  3. Food from the oceans and freshwater resources
  4. Alternative proteins for dietary shift
  5. Food waste and resource-efficient food systems
  6. The microbiome world
  7. Nutrition and sustainable healthy diets
  8. Food safety systems of the future
  9. Food systems Africa
  10. Data and digital transformation
  11. Zero Pollution food systems

Food 2030 has inspired and led to the creation of the Horizon Europe Sustainable Food Systems Partnership for People, Planet and Climate and is supportive of the goals of the  EU Mission: A Soil Deal for Europe.




More publications


  1. December 2023

    In conjunction with the launch of the report Food 2030 – Pathways for action 2.0 – R&I policy as a driver for sustainable, healthy, climate resilient and inclusive food systems, the conference “Food 2030: Green and resilient food systems” took place in Brussels and online, gathering more than 1000 stakeholders working on the transition of food systems.

  2. March 2023

    On 10 March 2023 DG RTD – Unit B2 holds the Food 2030 expert workshop entitled “Future Research and Innovation Needs in view of the transition to sustainable, healthy, safe and inclusive food systems”. This in-person event gathering more than 60 experts provided input in view of the strategic programming of Horizon Europe (2025-2027)

  3. November 2022

    The COP 27 side event “Is our food system ready for the climate crisis? Building our adaptive capacity in view of turbulent times” discusses the urgency to act highlighting the key role of research and innovation in accelerating the transition to resilient and sustainable food systems that can adapt to climate change

  4. October 2022

    During the 20th Edition of the European Week of Regions and Cities, an online participatory lab entitled “Food 2030: regions as agents of change for food systems transitions and biobased solutions” takes place

  5. September 2022

    In occasion of the EU Research and Innovation Days, DG RTD – Unit B2 organises sessions on “Building sustainable and resilient food systems in times of crises” and “A Soil Deal for Europe: our Mission for healthy soil”

  6. June 2022

    The Food Cities Workshop gathers online representatives of around 25 European projects and networks. The workshop included exchanges of lessons learned and best practices and discussion of priorities and visions for the future.

    Outcomes of the workshop and a preceding survey can be found in the report “Urban food system transformation in the context of Food 2030 – current practice and outlook towards 2030

  7. October 2017

    The Food 2030 science policy dialogue takes place and Futureproofing food systems is published

  8. October 2020

    Food 2030 high level event is held in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the German Presidency on the occasion of World Food Day

  9. September 2020

    Food 2030 holds an open session at the second EU Research and Innovation Dayswith the title “Building a post-COVID food systems economy that works for people, planet and climate” to discuss the sustainability of food systems

  10. March 2020

    EU Group of Chief Scientific Advisers delivers scientific opinion Towards a sustainable food system, to inform the Farm to Fork strategy

  11. September 2019

    Food 2030 exhibits at first EU Research and Innovation Days with a session on “Transforming of Food Systems for People, Planet and Climate” to discuss new opportunities and solutions to transform food systems, within the framework of future R&I policy and the European Green Deal. Food 2030 is also represented at the World Food Day event

  12. June 2018

    2nd high level Food 2030 conference takes place under the auspices of the Bulgarian Presidency, coinciding with the launch of the Food 2030 Recipe for change expert group report.

    Support actions are up and running including Fit4Food2030 and the Standing Committee for Agricultural Research (SCAR) EU countries performs a food systems mapping exercise of EU countries

  13. October 2017

    The Food 2030 science policy dialogue takes place and Futureproofing food systems is published

  14. October 2016

    Food 2030 is launched at the first Food 2030 high level event alongside a publication that makes an attempt to map and provide common terminology to convene all players and underpin the debate

  15. October 2015

    The Commission calls for a far more ambitious role for research and innovation as an outcome of the Milan World Expo. Commissioner Moedas announces his intention to launch a “Food Research Area”