How diversity contributes to more sustainable food systems

The FOOdIVERSE project provides practical recommendations for the diversification of food systems. Each of the five FOOdIVERSE Living Labs established in the project has developed and implemented solutions for more sustainable local food systems. The diversity of stakeholders’ perspectives, along with the uniqueness of socio-cultural, economic, legal, and environmental contexts, has resulted in a variety of challenges and responses. The practical, hands-on initiatives that FOOdIVERSE has facilitated and studied provide inspiration and lessons for both practitioners and researchers working on the transformation of food systems towards greater sustainability.

South West England, UK The South West Grain Network Diversifying the local grain supply chain

Lack of varietal diversity and high inputs in monoculture grain production

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Developing and growing highly diverse wheat varieties

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Friendship and collaboration between small-scale farms, mills and bakeries

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Diversity of inputs, practices and products increased food system resilience

Jevnaker, Norway Hadeland CSA Committed cooperation between food producers and consumers

Local producers face multiple risks related to cultivating small-scale, local farms

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Producers and consumers agree to share both risks and rewards from the yearly production

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Consumers become shareholders by paying the estimated cost of plant and animal products

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Shareholders receive their share of products, thus enjoying the diversity of local food

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Shareholders usually take part in vegetable production

Krakow, Poland Wawelska Food Cooperative Improving the performance of short food supply chains

Food producers use a large amount of disposable packaging

Consumers consult with producers on how to improve the food packaging system

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The food cooperative tests various new types of packaging

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The cooperative delivers more products in bulk or in reusable packaging

Trento, Italy Nutrire Trento Good food for the city

Missing connection between local producers and eaters

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The food policy council analyzes the regional food system

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New sales channels are created for locally produced food

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The food policy council encourages residents to use new purchasing options

Diverse consumer groups are linked to local food producers

Giessen, Germany Food Policy Council Giessen Diverse, local and healthy school meals

Children at schools are served highly processed food produced on a global scale

Mobilization of citizens who identify the problem and develop regional interventions

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Caterers reach out to local producers

School meals are more diverse and based on local produce

The project was co-financed by the NCBR, BMEL, MIPAAF, RCN and DEFRA within the framework of ERA-NET SUSFOOD and ERA-NET CORE Organic Cofund Joint Call program