Systematic review of existing EU-wide scenarios related to sustainable food and nutrition security

Systematic review of existing EU-wide scenarios related to sustainable food and nutrition security

SUSFANS aims to develop a toolbox that can aid policy-makers in making balanced and encompassing decisions on potential interventions to achieve food and nutrition security in the EU. An essential part of that is the use of scenarios/plausible futures, both quantitative and qualitative, to better understand the possible implications of decisions currently debated. Often, projects start the development of scenarios from scratch, which proves to be highly time-consuming, leaving little time for actual use of these scenarios.

Therefore, SUSFANS decided to use currently available scenarios and adapt them to the SUSFANS needs.

While there are plenty of available scenario exercises, not all of them have the right focus or epistemological basis. To ensure compatibility, selection criteria have been set, based on the SUSFANS conceptual framework. These criteria were: the use of a food systems approach; the elaboration on sustainable food and nutrition system drivers; a focus on the EU food policy goals. Building on an earlier extensive scenario review done in the project TRANSMANGO (EU Horizon 2020 project), an initial selection was then thoroughly scanned for compatibility with these selection criteria.

This assessment showed two projects that have developed scenario exercises that are compatible: FOODSECURE and TRANSMANGO. Combining these scenarios led to a good mix of qualitative scenarios that touched upon all the policy goals and applied a food systems thinking. Eight initial scenarios were developed, differing in their impact on FNS, agricultural systems, post-farm food system activities, interactions with global food security and environmental impacts of the food system.

A smaller number of these scenarios was then selected for a quantitative elaboration. Basis of selection was their compatibility with the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs), which are quantitative scenarios that are part of a new framework for the analysis of future climate impacts, vulnerabilities, adaptation, and mitigation used by the climate change community.

After this second selection process, four SUSFANS scenarios were identified as appropriate to be quantified as they were compatible with/similar to the Shared Socioeconomic Pathway scenarios (SSPs). These were the four scenarios 1, 4, 6 and 7, which will thus become part of the SUSFANS toolbox and foresight work.