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The FOODCoST Community of Practice: External experts’ view

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08 Mar. 2024

Miroslav Polacek

FOODCoST is based on a multi-actor approach that ensures a continuous dialogue with all relevant actors across the whole food system (land and sea). A Community of Practice (CoP) is an expert platform created within FOODCoST to discuss the results, co-create the project outcomes and debate on the feasibility, implications, and next steps for developing and implementing a harmonized EU approach for assessing and internalizing externalities of food.

The CoP comprises 30 selected members from the categories of farmers and fishermen food business operators and financial institutions; education and research; civil society (NGOs and consumer organisations); policymakers and media.

The initial kick-off meeting of CoP was held in May 2023 in Bratislava, to discuss use cases, valuation of externalities, pathways to internalise externalities and identify any potential barriers.

The kick-off meeting provided some first feedback and interesting recommendations for the future activities of FOODCoST in various domains of the scope of the project. One of the vividly discussed topics was the focus area of the potential application of the True Cost Accounting. The most supported in this respect were taxes – especially the carbon tax, because of the importance of carbon emissions in agriculture, closely followed by the connected climate and natural resource & ecosystem management due to their importance to consumers. Equally interesting was the discussion on the expected outcomes of the project. Some of the members expressed that these should foremost improve the position of farmers and support a system in which producers produce and consumers consume the most sustainable food products. Other, more policy-oriented views recommended that project outcomes should create a base for the reporting requirements. Several members stressed the importance to consider and make the project outcomes relevant for the entire value chain, especially on the pricing level – from seed to consumption.

CoP will meet 3 more times during the project’s lifetime with the next meeting under preparation scheduled for the end of May. Planned at mid-stage of the use cases, the meeting shall provide a midterm evaluation on case studies, discuss on valuations of social/ human externalities, availability of data, ways to internalise externalities in policy and business context and provide feedback on the project outputs reached by the halftime of project realisation period in general.

During all the stages, the discussion within the CoP will be enriched and animated also by the insights collected from the other stakeholders through the MML workshops.

Stay tuned for more news and outcomes from Community of Practice.

For more information about the FOODCoST’s CoP please contact: