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, in the broader context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
On day 1, our aim is to discuss which role consumers can play in the implementation of the EU Farm to Fork Strategy, and how innovation can help them. We will identify promising and innovative solutions that will support the Farm to Fork Strategy, by building a more circular food system and supporting the sustainable labelling of food products. We will also look at the crucial work of farmers, assessing their needs in terms of education and skills in the transition towards a more sustainable and viable food system.
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 resilient track. We will evaluate the impact of Covid19 on the agrifood sector and on consumer behaviour, while at the same time reflecting on future global perspectives ahead of the 2021 UN Food System Summit.
The EU on 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.
Key questions to be discussed:
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.
The EU’s Action Plan for the Circular Economy aims to help achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3 to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030, and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chains. How can we reduce food loss and food waste through circular solutions? And how can we define and measure impact to guide future innovation projects?
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.
EU Agriculture Commissioner
Director of Food and feed safety, innovation, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, European Commission
Head of Consumer Science, EUFIC
Director & Head of Mandate Management, European Investment Fund (EIF)
Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Blue Horizon Ventures
President and Rector, Turku University of Applied Science
Klaus G. Grunert
Professor of Marketing Aarhus University; Founder & Director of the MAPP Research Center
MEP, Substitute Member of the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
Máximo Torero Cullen
Chief Economist, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
President, European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA)
European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT)
Executive Director, Netherlands Nutrition Centre
Deputy Director-General, DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission
Head of Food Systems Innovation, World Economic Forum (WEF)
CEO, EIT Food
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.
For more information on any aspect of this event, please contact Mair Carter using any of the details below.
Senior Event Manager | Forum Europe
Tel: +44 (0) 2920 783072