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New EU project on sustainable transformation of our food system

A new project on transforming the European food system towards a low carbon circular future applies a groundbreaking mechanism for maturing, combining, upscaling and multiplying sustainable food system innovations. The project has received EUR 7.5 million from the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

Starting in January 2020, the FoodSHIFT2030 project will launch an ambitious citizen-driven transition of the European food system towards a low carbon circular future. The transition includes a shift to less meat and more plant based diets, while improving food and nutrition security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and revitalizing urban-rural linkages.

Christian Bugge Henriksen, who is leading the Research Group on Climate and Food Security at the University of Copenhagen, coordinates the project. The project features a strong multi-actor consortium with 31 partners composed of local governments, SMEs, NGOs, universities, research institutions and network partners.

“By supporting the transformative power of citizens already engaged in developing sustainable and innovative food system solutions in European city-regions, FoodSHIFT2030 aims to increase food sector jobs, boost small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), empower citizens and facilitate urban-rural cohesion. By doing so we aim to have a lasting positive impact on food system sustainability that will continue beyond the project lifetime,” says Christian Bugge Henriksen.

Boosting innovation in FoodSHIFT Accelerator Labs

The fast citizen-driven food system transition will be initiated in FoodSHIFT Accelerator Labs in nine front-runner city-regions: Greater Athens, Avignon, Barcelona, Bari, Brasov, Berlin, Greater Copenhagen, Oostende and Wroclaw. Subsequently knowledge will be transferred to FoodSHIFT Enabler Labs in twenty-seven follower city-regions. Each lab will work on maturing, combining and upscaling existing food system innovations within a specific innovation focus.

The benefits of the food system innovations on the environment, the economy and the society will be determined by assessing their effects on a set of FoodSHIFT Indicators. The University of Copenhagen will lead the development of environmental indicators. Strategies and advisory plans for citizen-driven food system governance will be co-created to support food system transition and foster market uptake in the participating city-regions.

The Lab in Greater Copenhagen will focus on innovations that provide sustainable, healthy, and diversified local food for professional kitchens while at the same time empowering citizens, creating jobs and sustaining the quality of life in both rural and urban areas. All interested food system stakeholders will be invited to join and collaborate on accelerating relevant food system innovations for developing “The kitchen of tomorrow”.

The Greater Copenhagen Lab will be hosted by Lejre Municipality, and supported by the University of Copenhagen and Circular Food Technology. Other Danish partners in the project include the start-ups Nextfood and Plant Jammer.

For more information about the FoodSHIFT2030 project check out

Source: University of Copenhagen