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Background & Mission

What is


FOODCoST is a four-year project, funded by the Horizon Europe Framework Programme under Grant Agreement 101060481.

FOODCoST aims to support the transition towards sustainable food systems by proposing a harmonising methodology to calculate externalities in climate, biodiversity, environmental, social and health along the food value chain.

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The problem
Current food systems are not sustainable.

They generate substantial environmental, social and health costs while failing to provide affordable food for healthy diets to all.

One of the central problems is that these costs are externalised, which means they are not reflected in the market prices and, therefore, are also not reflected in the decision-making of actors in food value chains.

Preliminary research estimates that, on a global scale, the current costs left out of food processes can reach two times the market value of food. As long as sustainably produced foods for healthy diets are more expensive and less profitable than unsustainably produced and less healthy foods, efforts to implement sustainable food systems are unlikely to succeed.

Solving the externalities problem implies measuring them and making them comparable with monetary market value. All actors in the food value chain should be aware of the “true” cost of food. Internalising these externalities based on less distorted cost and price information is fundamental to facilitating market-based responses and contributing to more sustainable production and healthier consumption patterns.

FOODCoST Activities

Click to know what FOODCoST proposes to do

FOODCoST will define approaches to measure and value positive and negative externalities with the goal of setting harmonised standard practices, which are essential for a well-functioning EU Green Deal.

Uncovering the external costs and benefits and communicating them to value chain and investor communities is an extremely important step toward mobilising markets for more sustainable food systems.

FOODCoST offers a game-changing new approach to calculating the value of externalities along the food value chain.

The project will uncover the impacts of economic models and identify pathways towards “true” pricing.

FOODCoST will provide tools and guidance to policymakers, businesses, and other actors, so they can assess the sustainable impacts brought by the implementation of businesses and policy measures that address the externality issues.


The overall concept of FOODCoST is based on a stakeholder platform that supports 3 main pillars





Case Studies


R&I agenda



Case Studies

Effective Policy

Business strategies


Case Studies




These three pillars will be supported by a Stakeholder Platform that ensures a multi-actor approach.

Get to know


main objectives:


Build a Stakeholder Platform supporting the transition towards a sustainable food system.


Create a harmonised methodology for the Valuation of externalities and an EU-global database of externality data.


Develop a framework for the Internalisation of externalities through policies and business models and strategies.


Assess the Impact of internalising externalities and outline the FOODCoST roadmap.