The #SISTERS project, a new paradigm for the agri-food industry of the future
If food loss and waste were a country, it would be the third biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
Food waste also burdens waste management systems, exacerbates food insecurity, making it a major contributor to the three planetary crises of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste, says Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme.
In addition, the SISTERS solutions are in line with important European paradigms such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Updated Bioeconomy Strategy of the European Commission or the new Post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Specifically, the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 (SDG 12.3) captures a commitment to halve food waste at the retail and consumer level and to reduce food loss across supply chains.
Some countries and private sector actors have already taken the SDG12.3 commitment to heart. For example, France and Italy has already ratified its commitment to this SDG. In Spanish households 1,364 million kilos of food are annually throwed away, an average of 31 kilos per person, according to 2020 data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Last month, the Spanish Council of Ministers has approved the bill for the Prevention of Losses and Food Waste before submitting it to parliamentary processing. Among the measures introduced by this new law is to force all agents in the food chain to develop a prevention plan to avoid waste. In addition, it contemplates sanctions for bars, restaurants or supermarkets that do not comply with this legislation.
All these measurements can bring outstanding benefits for the society and are in line with the Farm to Fork and European Green Deal strategies. The Farm to Fork Strategy, which is at the heart of the European Green Deal, aims to address the challenges and accelerate the transition to sustainable food systems, to ensure that the economic, social, and environmental foundations of food and nutrition security are not compromised for current and future generations. We need, for example, to address the role of consumer behaviour, in all cultural contexts, in achieving the target. We should be making wasting food anywhere socially unacceptable while we strive to provide healthy, sustainable diets to all.
On another hand “agri-food systems must be sustainable and evolve towards a circular economy”. There is no more expensive food product than the one that ends up in the garbage. Food waste harms society as a whole by making access to essential goods more expensive, wastes scarce natural resources, increases waste and environmental impact, and hampers the efficiency of the productive sector and its competitiveness.
The agroecological farming under the Farm to Fork strategy would have climate benefits, the EU should facilitate the transition towards sustainable agriculture that is not dependent on external inputs outside Europe, to make food systems resilient and productive into the future. The EC budget to inform consumers about on organic products has been increased. For example, their prices are going down and consumers do not know the benefits about them, such as that the organic products do not use fossil-based fertilizers, helps with biodiversity and to the health of soils and such to their productivity.
To do this work, testing and demonstrating systemic innovations to support the Farm-to-Fork Strategy, SISTERS project is not alone, there are other interesting projects, namely:
which are dealing with the transition for all actors of the food systems, building on innovative solutions that can be scaled up, such as agro-ecological and organic practices, alternative sources of protein, sustainable food from the oceans and aquaculture, and personalised advice relating to sustainable healthy diets.
These projects come from the same Green Deal Call. This call for proposals directly responds to the pressing need to confront the climate crisis and provide greater protection for the continent’s unique environment and biodiversity. At the same time, the call addresses the equally urgent challenge of aiding Europe’s recovery in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, contributing directly to the EU’s Recovery Plan for Europe.
The projects have already set different meetings to collaborate, and the coordinators have attended recently to two workshops organizated by PestNu and ClieNFarms. The objective is mainly to provide joint policy recommendations and to help each other in the development of the innovative solutions.
By Admin|2022-07-13T08:18:10+00:00July 29, 2022|News|
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