Last 4th and 5th of December, the European Commission organised a conference in Brussels entitled “Food 2030: green and resilient food systems” to showcase achievements of EU food systems related projects, explore future research and innovation orientations and levers of change. At this event a wide range of actors and policy makers for this in-person event was convened. Also, it as web streamed and recorded for those unable to travel.

Transforming our food systems for sustainability and resilience is pertinent and urgent to achieve our EU Green Deal goals. Acting simultaneously on many fronts is the only key to success. This is why we need a systems approach to understand the challenges and to target transformational change through a coherent set of policies, initiatives, and investments.

The SISTERS project aims to reduce food loss and waste in the main stages of the Food Value Chain in Europe through innovations targeted to each stage of the chain. The results will help to understand the changes that are needed to diminish the food wastage created every year at the European Union.

The Conference opened the first day with remarkable ponents who gave meaningful speeches to more than 450 attendants. Marc Lemaitre, Director General EC DG Research and Innovation, said that Europe has a significant gap to fill in terms of the technologies needed to make the transition to a green economy, but it can be done. “Green is not neutral” he mentioned. Claire BURY, Deputy Director-General responsible for Food sustainability responsible for directorates in charge of Food sustainability talked about resilience, new legislative proposals and the Food loss and waste superactive platform. She emphasized about the importance of the Research and Innovation science. The consumer awareness and culture differences are also very important. Raquel Yotti, Secretary General for Research representing the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union. mentioned that “policy needs to strength bridges with science”.

A number of panel discussions and keynote speeches covered various topics, spanning from the journey and impact of Food 2030 to the lessons learned, the true cost of food, and the role of youth and the entertainment industry in transforming food systems.

On day 2, on the occasion of the World Soil Day, Wolfgang Burtscher, Director-General of DG AGRI welcomed the audience. After keynote speeches on sustainable food consumption and climate-smart chefs, six breakout sessions delved into topics such as soil health, promising technologies, and international partnerships.

John Bell, DG RTD Healthy Plant Director, talked about the New European Innovation Agenda (NEIA) and the regional innovation valleys for Bioeconomy and food systems as an innovation catalyser. While Paul Webb, Head of Department for Green Europe at REA will speak about implementation and lessons learned. He remarked the importance of the development of the multiactor approach, and to provide scientific evidence to consumers reduce the fragmentation in their territory. Also, place-based solutions and inclusiveness, reduce fragmentation, Living Labs local solution testing solutions

The success of the “Food 2030” conference underscored the importance of collective action and innovative solutions in achieving a sustainable and resilient food future for Europe and beyond.

Peter Wehrheim, Head of Unit B2 “Bioeconomy and Food Systems” in DG RTD, wrapped up the conference, emphasising the collaborative efforts needed to shape the future of food systems.

Two partners of the SISTERS project, Safe Food Advocacy Europe and Aitiip Technology Center were attending to the prestigious European Event in Brussels to showcase achievements the technical innovations made at SISTERS’ and to present a joint policy brief prepared by SISTERS, ZEROW and other related projects. Several copies of this joint policy brief were distributed at the stand of SISTERS project.

The event also was important for SISTERS to have the opportunity to engage new stakeholders and to meet with policy officers and the project officer Mr Mihai Pera.