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1st MML workshop – “Food survivors - how to make food production more sustainable"

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12 May. 2023

FOODCoST Communication and Dissemination Team

On the 9th of May 2023, the first Mobilisation and Mutual Learning (MML) was held online – this important milestone was a stepping stone for the project. Organised by project partner APRE, the 1st of 12 MML workshops introduced the project, its Work Packages, and the main objectives of each project phase to stakeholders from various origins.

With the title “Food survivors – how to make food production more sustainable”, this first MML workshop counted with 42 participants that lively discussed how the FOODCoST project can support the sustainability of the food system. The workshop was divided into 4 sessions derived from each WP in which key questions are co-created with the participants using an interactive platform. To create a dynamic and interactive environment, the platform MIRO Board was used, helping boost the co-creation of solutions and sharing of knowledge.

The First session – WP 1 Methodologies and data to calculate external costs and benefits

Was presented by Michiel Van Galen and Geert Woltjer, from Wageningen Economic Research. In this session, the FOODCoST list of externalities was presented and explained to all participants. The basis for valuation of externalities, the different costing approaches and how the project looks to improve by taking from each of these approaches to create a new FOODCoST harmonised costing approach were featured and discussed during this first session.

The Second Session – WP 3 Overview of business models to internalise externalities

Was conducted by Phillippe Baret, of UC Louvain. After a brief presentation of this work package, after which business models and strategies for the internalisation of externalities are presented and categorised, Dr. Baret also mentioned the barriers that prevent these strategies from reaching their goal and specified the systemic approach used to identify them and suggested levers as solutions to overcome the possible barriers and lock-ins that arise from the use of different strategies.

The Third Session – WP2 Recommendation of Public Policies

Was guided by Céline Bonnet, of INRAE. Following the same line of the previous sessions, the main objectives of this WP and a brief presentation regarding the work that will be conducted were addressed firstly, followed by the action plan that should start with a policy review and end with the creation of recommendations of new public policies aimed at policy makers or stakeholders to internalise environmental, social, and economic externalities in the EU. She then shared with all the participants a practical example of a policy recommendation and its effects: the Soda Tax in the region of Catalonia, Spain, and in France.

Lastly, the Fourth Session – WP5 Tour around the case studies (insights from CS 8 and 10)

Was presented by Benjamin Oebel of the Nuremberg Institute of Technology. Dr. Oebel presented two case studies regarding the True Cost of Food, collected within the FOODCoST project, and based on a scientific publication by Michalke et al. (2022). The first presented case study, CS8, is related to True Cost Accounting Implementation in Supermarkets. This case study pertains to the “True Prices” campaign at Penny Grüner Weg (Green Way) in Berlin Spandau, where 16 “true price tags” and one interactive information touchpoint were used to ascertain the impact of the True Cost of Food on consumers and their purchases.  The second case study, CS 10, deals with the process of Decision-Making for Public Out of Home Catering based on External Costs, which was conducted in 6 different school canteens in France, Germany, and Austria. The aim of this study was to analyse 2 meals per canteen and propose alternatives based on external costs, calculating how much would be saved and how well accepted these menu changes would be by consumers.

“This workshop was a great success and an excellent opportunity to share knowledge and co-create ideas and solutions that will impact FOODCoST results and methodology” stated Willy Baltusen, coordinator of the project.