NEWS 2024-04-23

Continued funding for sustainable and resilient food systems

The research funding agency Mistra has decided to continue funding Mistra Food Futures for research on a sustainable and resilient food system. In this second phase, the program is allocated SEK 64 million for a period of four and a half years. In its first phase, the research program has worked on scenarios and goals for Sweden’s future food system, food system targets and indicators, and barriers and bridges to food system transformation.

“During phase two, we will continue to work in line with the overarching vision of being a scientifically based knowledge platform, actively contributing to the transformation of the Swedish food system, now also with a global perspective. Given the increased geopolitical tensions and resource scarcity resulting from recent societal developments, we will also highlight the preparedness perspective in the food system”, says Helena Hansson, program director of Mistra Food Futures.

The program will also initiate Mistra Food Futures Academy to train the next generation of researchers in the field. To increase the implementation of the research, a so-called transition lab will be launched together with the program partners.

Mistra Food Futures takes a holistic approach to all stages of the food system and develops strategies that will contribute to a sustainable and resilient food system. This includes tackling challenges across agriculture, food production, processing, retail, and consumption. The program started in autumn 2020. At the beginning of the year, the program’s work was evaluated by an international panel of experts.

Beijer researcher Malin Jonell will be the deputy lead of a work package centring on identifying and applying a set of overarching and holistic sustainability indicators for actors in the food system to follow and monitor progress. The role of indicators in encouraging transformation will be explored, as well as conditions necessary for translating indicators and data for food company to act on. The research will build on earlier work within the program identifying key indicators of relevance for food system transformation and setting climate, biodiversity, diet quality and health targets for the Swedish food system,

New report with targets for production and consumption

Biodiversity, climate, and diet quality & health are the three core target areas in the recent report “Climate, biodiversity and dietary quality targets for Swedish food production and consumption”. However, it also includes targets for freshwater use, antibiotic use, eutrophication, and chemicals & pesticides, as these represent important dimensions for food system sustainability.

“The targets will be used as a guiding star for the four scenarios developed by the program. Moreover, the target report is meant to function as a catalyst for continued discussion, paving the way towards the formulation of national sustainability targets, encompassing both production and consumption and multiple dimensions of sustainability”, explains Malin Jonell, lead author of the report.

Read the report

The Mistra Food Futures program is hosted by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences SLU, and the main partners are  Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University, RISE, and the Beijer Institute. The programme has a large number of partners from academia, state agencies, industry organisations, and businesses.