Bringing together EU policymakers, EIT Food partners and other key stakeholders active in agri-food research, innovation and education, along the whole food value chain, the conference will provide a high-level platform to discuss future trends and priorities in food innovation in Europe, looking at these in the broader context of both the UN Sustainable Development Goals and key objectives of the EU Food 2030 policy.
On day 1, our aim is to identify the most promising and innovative solutions that will support the EU Farm to Fork Strategy and discuss which role consumers can play in its implementation, focusing discussions around big societal challenges such as sustainable agriculture, obesity, food waste.
On day 2, the event will look at the opportunities and challenges of investing in the future of food, in innovation, entrepreneurship and education, to help the agrifood sector contribute to the recovery of the European economy, while setting it on a more sustainable and resilient track.
The EU Farm to Fork Strategy advocates a transition towards a sustainable food system. It aims to define a new comprehensive approach to how Europeans value food sustainability, improving their lifestyles, their health and the environment. Consumers should be empowered to choose healthy and sustainable food, and all actors in the food chain should see this as their responsibility and opportunity. To achieve this, it will be important to take the perspective of consumers on board and provide them with options that, not only are good for their health and for the planet, but also meet their needs and expectations. Consumer’s uptake of innovation, new products, ingredients, business models and behaviours will be key to achieve the Farm to Fork Strategy’s ambitious goal of transforming the food system.
Specific issues to be discussed:
• What does consumer centricity mean in practice and how is it is dealt with by the F2F Strategy?
• How do we increase and maintain consumer trust in food? The role of information, transparency and accountability
• How can consumers participate in changing and innovating the food system?
This session will discuss the skills which farmers need to change and innovate the food system, adopt new practices and new technologies to meet the objectives of the Farm-to-Fork Strategy. It will also discuss how farmers can learn and receive training, and whether the EU needs new instruments and programmes to tackle this challenge.
Food production has a substantial impact on the environment, biodiversity and the climate. In addition, global population is estimated to reach up to 10 billion by 2050, and food demand is predicted to raise. This session will discuss the role of key innovations developed by EIT Food and its partners in helping the primary sector reconcile the need to stay competitive and make farming and aquaculture a viable business, with the need of ensuring a high level of environmental protection.
The Farm to Fork Strategy states that the Commission will examine ways to harmonise voluntary green claims and create a sustainable labelling framework that covers the nutritional, climate, environmental and social aspects of food products. How can nutritional and sustainability labelling be streamlined in order to influence consumer choice and promote the switch to healthy and sustainable diets?
During the outbreak of the Covid19 crisis, the agri-food sector faced many big challenges such as supply chain disruption, shortage of labour force, safety of workers. But it also demonstrated resilience. Food producers, manufacturers and distributors made sure Europeans could access food, without impacting its quality, safety and price. The EU approach to post-Covid19 recovery will focus on digitalization, decarbonization and resilience. The recovery plan put forward by the European Commission, Next Generation EU, will mobilize resources and catalyse further national investment. To increase the resilience, competitiveness and sustainability of the agri-food sector, the EU will have to allocate resources to agri-food R&I, in line with the objectives of its Farm to Fork Strategy.
• What should be the role of public and private investors in facilitating the development and adoption of innovations by the market to deliver impact and make the Farm to Fork Strategy’s transition happen?
• Does the EU have the right tools to promote and facilitate investment in agri-food?
• What are the key investment dynamics of the agri-food sector? What is attracting investors to the agri-food sector and what are the main investment drivers, hurdles and constraints?
Covid-19 has exacerbated the difficulties and disparities within the international community in its fight to end global hunger. The UN estimate that the pandemic will double the number of people exposed to potential food crises. There is an urgent need for a reflection on the collective investment in agri-food R&I and their coordination to support food systems transformation for the benefit of those most in need.
Ahead of the 2021 UN Food System Summit, this session will discuss global R&I and investment priorities to reach SDG2, the role of public and private actors and how to measure their impact on achieving the sustainable development targets.
EIT Food is Europe’s leading food innovation initiative, working to make the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted. We believe that we are all responsible for and connected to the food that we eat, so we all need to work together to improve it. We are building a unique network of diverse partners that provide a holistic view of the food value chain, including key industry players, agrifood startups, research centres and universities from across Europe, all working together to deliver an innovative and entrepreneurial food sector.