The EU project ‘Food Planning and Innovation for Sustainable Metropolitan Regions’ (FOODMETRES) aims to assess both the environmental and the socio-economic impacts of food chains with regard to the spatial, logistical and resource dimension of growing food as well as to the questions of food safety and quality as key assets for food planning and governance. The main focus is on the identification concepts as well as practical examples for food chain innovation across different scales and forms of agriculture and food production with special emphasis on system innovation such as eco-industrial regimes as well as social-networking concepts geared towards feeding urban populations.
Shortening the food chain alone is not always sufficient when defining sustainable food. It is argued that logistics is only a small part of the sustainability discussion. The impact of miles on the environment may prove to be negligible compared to, f.e., the impact of the production process. Especially, if consumers travel more to buy their products locally. However, it provides in the need for consumers to be more related to their products (social aspect). Therefore FoodMetres puts forward a holistic approach which encompasses (1) a definition of system innovation comprising product, process, social and governance domains, (2) a broadening of sustainability beyond food chain length, (3) a combination of three spatial-functional layers of agro-food systems reflected in LAS (local), MAS (metropolitan) and GAS (global), and (4) a multi-actor approach that makes use of evidence-based assessment tools when co-designing innovative approaches towards food supply.
More information: www.foodmetres.eu
Wascher, D., Kruit, J., Corsi, S., Groot, J., Bartels, P.V., Asselt, E.D. van, priorr, A., Zasada, I., Dörneberg, A., Kneafsley, M., Venn, L., Pintar, M., (2013) Foodmetres Conceptual Framework and Innovation Targets. (D1.1)
Wascher, D., Groot, J., Snels, J., Fels-Klerx, H.J. van der, Asselt, E.D. van, Bing, X., Bartels, P., Schmulz, U., Dörneberg, A., Monaco, F., Glavan, M., Kruit., J., Verhoeven, F. (2014) Indicators, tool and Scenario Formulas for Assessing Food Chain Logistics (D3.1)
E.D. van Asselt, E. Capuano, H.J. van der Fels-Klerx. Sustainability of milk production in the Netherlands – A comparison between raw organic, pasteurised organic and conventional milk. International Dairy Journal. Volume 47, August 2015, Pages 19–26