State of play in the SUSFANS project - second period

SUSFANS focuses on a number of core questions: How can we improve the food system of the EU, especially from the perspective of social, environmental and economic sustainability? How can we balance and encompass different views on balanced consumer diets and food and nutrition security in the EU? The research approach is built around the development of a set of metrics, models and foresight tools, which can be used to navigate through decisions on measures for achieving sustainable food and nutrition security.

Initial model for designing SHARP diets

Rising incomes and urbanization leads to global dietary changes. Traditional diets are replaced by diets higher in refined sugars, fats, oils and meats. Replacing these diets with healthier alternatives can have substantial public health and environmental benefits. But designing healthier diets can be a rather complex process.

Firms’ strategies in food innovation and reformulation and their responses to regulatory nutritional policies

To deal with health issues related to food consumption, governments are implementing partnerships with the food industry to generate changes in the quality of foods, based for instance on the decrease in salt or fat contents. Some governments employ also more coercive policies, based on the ban of some ingredients, the implementation of quality standards, or advertising regulations. Are these policies focused on the supply side more promising than policies focused on consumers?

The role of market power in the EU food supply chain

In recent years, there has been growing interest on the functioning of food supply chains in the face of significant external challenges, such as a growing demand for agricultural production worldwide and price volatility. This report is the first to analyze the functioning of the food supply chain in terms of firm-level mark-up volatility of its actors. The results show that the farm sector has a significantly higher volatility than its counterparts in the food supply chain.

Contributing to FCRN

Newsletter

Subscribe / unsubscribe
to our newsletter

Latest Publications

State of play in the SUSFANS project - second period

SUSFANS focuses on a number of core questions: How can we improve the food system of the EU, especially from the perspective of social, environmental and economic sustainability? How can we balance and encompass different views on balanced consumer diets and food and nutrition security in the EU? The research approach is built around the development of a set of metrics, models and foresight tools, which can be used to navigate through decisions on measures for achieving sustainable food and nutrition security. This approach results in a holistic, integrated and coherent vision of what entails sustainable food and nutrition security in the EU in a context of global change. It underpins a perspective on how EU policies on farming, fishing, food and nutrition could contribute to that vision with greater efficacy than today.

Take a look

Deliverable 7.3: Initial model for designing SHARP diets

Designing healthier diets is a complex process which can have substantial public health benefits.The intakes, but also the requirements of multiple important nutrients for different population groups should be taken into account. Moreover, the current dietary preferences of individuals should be considered to promote the acceptability of the diet. Diet models have been developed and used for designing suchhealthier and acceptable diets. The main objective of these models is to determine the optimal quantities of available food items that should be included in a diet to optimize a specific indicator (e.g. maximize a dietary quality index). Additional constraints are defined to improve the acceptability of the calculated diets. These constraints are either in the form of upper and lower limits to the intake of specific food-items or in the form of fixed combinations of food-items in meals. Defining such constraints explicitly is challenging and involves expert knowledge and a substantial degree of arbitrariness. To avoid defining such acceptability constraints we propose a DEA based diet model that benchmarks existing complete diets of a certain population and in our case identifies healthier alternatives. However, the model's flexibility allows for additional dimensions to be included, such as sustainability indicators and prices. The method was applied successfully to benchmark alternative diets of a group of individuals in the Netherlands.

Take a look

Deliverable 3.4: Firms’ strategies in food innovation and reformulation and their responses to regulatory nutritional policies

To deal with health issues related to food consumption, governments are implementing partnerships with the food industry to generate changes in the quality of foods, based for instance on the decrease in salt or fat contents. Some governments employ also more coercive policies, based on the ban of some ingredients, the implementation of quality standards, or advertising regulations. Are these policies focused on the supply side more promising than policies focused on consumers? Are market incentives sufficient to induce voluntary changes by firms or is public regulation of food quality needed to reach public health objectives? The goal of this task will be to deal with these questions, by combining conceptual models and empirical data collection.

Take a look

Deliverable 3.6: The role of market power in the EU food supply chain

There is extensive debate on the position of farmers in the food chain and how global price volatility and increasing concentration up and down the value chain is affecting famers, taking into account increasingly complex vertically-related markets. Market concentration and technological advances are claimed to have shifted the balance of power in the food system to global retailers and other concentrated sectors.

Take a look

Deliverable 9.2: Enhanced modelling of sustainable food and nutrition security: food consumption and nutrition behaviour of European households

This deliverable describes the enhanced modelling of food consumption and nutrition behaviour under constraints with a focus on European households and population health impacts of changes in diets. The demand side enhancements enable the analysis of SFNS over time and in response to (policy) shocks.

Take a look

Deliverable 5.3: Innovation pathways towards more sustainable production and consumption in the fruit - vegetable supply chain and their uptake in the SUSFANS models

Fruit and vegetable consumption is below recommended levels and should increase to come closer to a more healthy and sustainable diet in Europe. The aim of this report is to identify innovation pathways in the fruit and vegetable chain from a consumer perspective. The deliverable shows the different elements of a consumer perspective, their relevance and above all the need to combine consumer, production and circular perspectives on innovation to support fruit and vegetables consumption. To understand or even stimulate consumption behaviour a wide array of drivers need to be taken into consideration, which relate to the individual (biological, demographics, psychological), the product, the interpersonal, physical environment and policy. These are represented in consumption-related innovations such as: targeting, motivating, contextual, communicating and acceptance of innovations; product related innovation such as: product, production, and package; and circular innovations (in particular around reducing food waste). This paper is meant to inspire, raise awareness, and continue the discussion on a strengthened consumer perspective in the innovation strategies, foresight and modelling work in SUSFANS.

Take a look

Deliverable 9.3: Enhanced modelling of sustainable food and nutrition security: food supply and use of scarce resources

This deliverable reports on Task 9.3 and describes the enhanced modelling of food supply and the use of scarce resources. The enhancements improve the analysis of sustainable food and nutrition security in response to (policy) shocks with regard to coverage and accuracy of sustainability metrics provided by long-run modelling tools in SUSFANS.

Take a look

Deliverable 10.1: Quantified SUSFANS scenario drivers ready to be used by the modeling toolbox

This deliverable quantifies the most relevant scenario narratives spanning across the range of future challenges for the EU sustainable FNS for use in the SUSFANS toolbox.

Take a look

Latest Blog Posts

 

2017 has been an important and proaductive year for SUSFANS. Not only did we complete a long trajectory of developing metrics for sustainable food and nutrition security, we also assessed consumer diets in selected European countries against a common food-based dietary guideline.

Dec, 18 2017   0 Comments   Thom Achterbosch  

During the last year stakeholder continued to interact with the project team and gave motivating feedback for the future. Voices out of the private sector named the work done so fare within SUSFANS ‘impressive’ - but expectations remain high.

Dec, 18 2017   0 Comments   Sebastian Eckert  

How can we improve the food system in the EU, especially from the perspective of social, environmental and economic sustainability? How can we balance and encompass views on how to strengthen food and nutrition security in the EU?

These are the core questions of the SUSFANS project. SUSFANS’ overall goal is to come to a better food and nutrition system for human health, the environment and corporate enterprises in Europe.

Sep, 19 2016   0 Comments   Sebastian Eckert