Scenario Development for Sustainable Food Consumption: CORPUS - Enhancing the Connectivity between Research and Policy-making in Sustainable Consumption

Lucia Reisch, Andrea Farsang, Francois Jégou

    Publikation: Working paperForskning


    Over the last few decades, considerable changes in food consumption – such as eating habits, dietary changes, availability and accessability of food – have taken place. These are mainly due to an increase in productivity of the food sector, a greater diversity in product choices and a decrease in seasonal dependency due to global trade and storage and process technology. On the demand side, relatively high and stable incomes combined with low food prices have in-creased accessibility, availability and affordability of a highly diverse food supply. Yet, according to the FAO, total food production will have to increase by up to 70% in order to feed the growing population projected to be around 9 billion people by 2050 with the largest increase in low-income countries. It will be a huge challenge for agriculture to meet this growing demand in a sustainable way. Besides global population increase other driving forces can also be identified as having particular importance, namely: changes in diets and subsequent health problems, rising level of urbanisation, environmental impacts and (future) governance of the food system.
    The food system is a complex socio-ecological system surrounded by unpredictable events and uncertainties, especially on long-term horizons such as 25-50 years ahead. In order to deal with these uncertainties, complexities and long-term challenges as well as to influence developments pro-actively, scenario planning is increasingly applied in both policy making and knowledge brokerage. Scenarios can reveal uncertainties, can help prepare for unexpected changes and highlight crucial decisions to be taken today. Scenarios can offer a clearer picture of the present and visions for the future, can help to identify key driving forces and their trends as well as as-sess potential outcomes of different policy paths.
    The intention of this discussion paper is to provide background information to the third CORPUS “Policy meets Research” workshop on sustainable food consumption as part of the CORPUS project. The paper provides a short summary on the use of scenarios in evidence-based policy making in general as well as in the context of the CORPUS project. Moreover, it reviews recent examples of scenario building approaches in the sustainable food domain. The potential roles and applications of different types of scenarios such as backcasting or quantitative models and their benefit for policy making are discussed.
    Based on prior research on key challenges and driving forces of sustainable food consumption and guided by the discussions held in the two earlier CORPUS workshops, the focus is on the following strategies and visions:

    1. a diet with a higher proportion of vegetables

    2. 80% organic food in all public procurement

    3. shorter distance and closer relations between producers and consumers

    4. community gardens and urban gardening

    5. food trade placed in local squares

    6. energy conscious and efficient food consumption.
    UdgiverEuropean Commission
    Antal sider22
    StatusUdgivet - maj 2011
    NavnCORPUS Discussion Paper

    Bibliografisk note

    Funded by the European Commission, FP 7. Project No. 244103