The Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research PAS has joined a large EU partnership for the development of sustainable production, processing, distribution and consumption of food – Future FoodS. This only Polish entity in the international consortium will be responsible for creating a European network of so-called living labs, i.e. laboratories where new solutions for the agrifood industry will be developed and tested.
– Ensuring people’s food security is one of the key challenges around the world. In this context, it is important that actions for the production and consumption of healthy, nutritious and diverse food also translate into sustainable environmental, social and economic development. Therefore, the mission of our partnership is to integrate the work of European research centers and the food industry in order to create a healthy, environmentally friendly, socially safe, fair and economically viable food system in Europe, in the perspective of 2030 and beyond, emphasizes Mariusz Piskuła, director of the Institute.
87 institutions from all over the European Union participate in the Partnership for Sustainable Food Systems – Future FoodS. These are scientific entities, food producers, legislators, innovation support centers and organizations operating in the agri-food industry. The initiative is coordinated by the French National Research Agency (ANF).
The Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research PAS is one of the most significant research centers in Poland focusing on scientific research in the field of food, e.g. its safety, health-promoting effect or food innovations.
As part of the partnership, the Polish representative, together with the large Belgian agri-food cluster Flanders’ Food, will co-manage the work to create an EU network of so-called living labs.
– Living labs are multi-stakeholder structures, open to innovation and local cooperation. Their main task is to test solutions in real conditions, with the participation of all interested parties. In our case, these are laboratories where new solutions in the field of food are developed and tested, e.g. with consumers as active agents. As part of the partnership, we will identify such places in Poland and other European Union countries, and then we will create an international network – explains Iwona Kieda, project manager at the Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research PAS.
The aim of the European Union is that in the future this network of living laboratories will form the backbone of an ecosystem of food systems.
The activities carried out under the described partnership focus on the issue of sustainable food systems. It is about such a system of food production and consumption, which in a fair and honest way will provide the society with safe and healthy food, taking care of low environmental impact.
The consortium will announce external calls for international projects open to entities from outside the partnership, which will promote research and innovation in such areas as:
- ensuring food security;
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food systems;
- ensuring the availability of water, e.g. in the context of droughts affecting Europe;
- preventing food waste;
- appropriate business models for the food sector in the European Union, including i.a. environmentally friendly management;
- ensuring diversity and inclusiveness in food systems.
The Partnership for Sustainable Food Systems is part of the global efforts of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.