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Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4271; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114271

Assessing Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security of the EU Food System—An Integrated Approach

1
Environmental change Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, UK
2
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, 10405 Stockholm, Sweden
3
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, I-21027 Ispra (VA), Italy
4
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, University of Utrecht, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
5
Wageningen Economic Research, 2595 BM The Hague, The Netherlands
6
LICOS—Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven University, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
7
Ecosystems Services and Management Program, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, 2361 Laxenburg, Austria
8
Institute for Food and Resource Economics, University of Bonn, 53115 Bonn, Germany
9
Agrifood and Bioscience, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, 40229 Gothenburg, Sweden
10
Division of Human Nutrition and Health, Wageningen University, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
11
Trade and Markets Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 00153 Rome, Italy
Jo Wijnands passed away.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 2 November 2018 / Accepted: 13 November 2018 / Published: 19 November 2018
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Abstract

Steering the EU food system towards a sustainability transformation requires a vast and actionable knowledge base available to a range of public and private actors. Few have captured this complexity by assessing food systems from a multi-dimensional and multi-level perspective, which would include (1) nutrition and diet, environmental and economic outcomes together with social equity dimensions and (2) system interactions across country, EU and global scales. This paper addresses this gap in food systems research and science communication by providing an integrated analytical approach and new ways to communicate this complexity outside science. Based on a transdisciplinary science approach with continuous stakeholder input, the EU Horizon2020 project ‘Metrics, Models and Foresight for European SUStainable Food And Nutrition Security’ (SUSFANS) developed a five-step process: Creating a participatory space; designing a conceptual framework of the EU food system; developing food system performance metrics; designing a modelling toolbox and developing a visualization tool. The Sustainable Food and Nutrition-Visualizer, designed to communicate complex policy change-impacts and trade-off questions, enables an informed debate about trade-offs associated with options for change among food system actors as well as in the policy making arena. The discussion highlights points for further research related to indicator development, reach of assessment models, participatory processes and obstacles in science communication. View Full-Text
Keywords: food systems; metrics; interdisciplinarity; sustainable food and nutrition security; food system assessment; participatory approach; SUSFANS food systems; metrics; interdisciplinarity; sustainable food and nutrition security; food system assessment; participatory approach; SUSFANS
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Zurek, M.; Hebinck, A.; Leip, A.; Vervoort, J.; Kuiper, M.; Garrone, M.; Havlík, P.; Heckelei, T.; Hornborg, S.; Ingram, J.; Kuijsten, A.; Shutes, L.; Geleijnse, J.M.; Terluin, I.; van ’t Veer, P.; Wijnands, J.; Zimmermann, A.; Achterbosch, T. Assessing Sustainable Food and Nutrition Security of the EU Food System—An Integrated Approach. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4271.

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