Nutrition security requires a system approach
Many factors influence food and nutrition security, from crop growth and food processing, to consumer behavior and the economic gap between rich and poor populations. Addressing food and nutrition security therefore requires an integrated food systems perspective.
Diversifying food sources
In 2015, FACCE-JPI and JPI Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life (HDHL) organised a Grand Debate which was supported by the European Commission, and prepared a joint paper. Later, in 2018, together with JPI Oceans, they formed a joint Knowledge Hub and a joint research programme with a system approach. The provisional scope involves the impact of climate change on the nutritional make-up of food and diets, and how changes impact health. Strategies may include diversifying food sources (from land and sea), improved management practices across the entire food chain, and a facilitating role for industry and food retailers, with consumer acceptance as the key driver for bringing about change.
Dialogue and data sharing
The aim of the Knowledge Hub is to create a sustainable network for coordinating and integrating work throughout the food value chain, by bringing together researchers from diverse disciplines (e.g. nutrition, food science, medicine, plant and animal physiology and breeding, environment, behavioral science, economics and sociology). Education, dialogue, data sharing, and co-design of solutions with stakeholders will support this new approach.
The research is expected to contribute to the implementation of the European Commission’s FOOD 2030 initiative, and to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The new Knowledge Hub will also collaborate with Horizon 2020 Action FitforFood2030.
In January 2019, the JPIs HDHL, FACCE and OCEANS jointly launched a Knowledge Hub on Food and Nutrition Security call. The call was supported by 10 countries. The overall aim of the Knowledge Hub on Food and Nutrition Security is to foster transnational and multidisciplinary collaboration and networking in order to accelerate, further characterize and to manage the impact of climate change on nutritional make-up of food, and to propose adaptive strategies/ measures to ensure food and nutrition security.
The call was implemented in 3 steps. Out of 43 Expressions of Interest that were submitted by April 2019, 42 were found eligible. They were evaluated by the Call Steering Committee and after the joint networking meeting held in June 2019, they were invited to submit the Joint Proposal by September 2019.
The SEC evaluation meeting took place on September 23rd and resulted in the recommendation for funding of the joint proposal SYSTEMIC with a total budget of about 1.7 million euros. The proposal involves 173 researchers from 41 research groups from Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Norway and Portugal.
Read SYSTEMIC's press release here.