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CLEVERFOOD: leading an urgent change in food systems for a better future

March 21, 2023

Together with University of Copenhagen, a European Union project is helping Europeans to embrace a sustainable and circular food system.

"Current and future crises, including those related to climate, food, biodiversity and health are inextricably linked to the way we produce food," commented Associate Professor Christian Bugge Henriksen of the University of Copenhagen's Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences. "Thus, the time has come to make a radical change, where all EU countries make a concerted effort to transform our food system by making it more fair, sustainable, circular and plant-based."

With €8.1 million in funding, the comprehensive EU project, CLEVERFOOD, will transform the European food system into one that is more climate-friendly, protects nature and biodiversity, and promotes public health across the European continent.

Together with governments, academia, industry and interest groups, the project will seek to foster synergies among other EU projects – current and future – focused on food systems. In this respect, it will work in line with the EU Food 2030 Policy Framework and Farm to Fork strategy.

CLEVERFOOD will also address legislation and advocacy in order to shape EU policy on healthy and sustainable food systems. For example, high debt-to-income ratios often prevent farmers and food innovators from adopting the new technology and practices needed for a shift to a circular, low-carbon and plant-based future. This is something the politicians must tackle. At the same time, people need to be better informed about healthy and sustainable food as this would drive consumer demand for plant-based foods.

"To maximize the impact of this project, it is pivotal to engage with, educate and empower citizens in order to inspire them to change," added Ilaria Bonetti, ICONS Senior Project Manager. "ICONS, responsible for the project's communication, will work closely with other partners to develop the FOOD 2030 Online Platform which will collect all projects and useful resources around the topic of sustainable food systems. To amplify the visibility of the project, ICONS will also develop a multi-channel strategy that guarantees joint collaboration and sustainability of results beyond project implementation"

The CLEVERFOOD project began on 1 January 2023 and will last four years. The kick-off meeting took place in Portugal 20-22 February 2023 at Ciencia Viva. The project involves 26 partners from 12 different countries (Austria, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom).

The CLEVERFOOD project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe Research and Innovation program.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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