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Valuation Pillar

Development of a harmonised methodology to calculate external costs and benefits and database development


The measuring and monetising externalities in the food sector need to be conceptually grounded and empirically investigated using validated indicators and data collection methods that facilitate an understanding of the relationship between sustainable production/consumption and externalities in the food system. In order to provide consistent information for the decisions of all actors (governments, businesses, consumers, NGOs, and financial institutions) standardised calculation methods must reveal costs generated by the decisions of actors, i.e. the marginal costs.


Available LCA and pricing databases will be clearly documented from the perspective of their use for consistent valuation. Then, a consistent valuation database based on the marginal cost principle that distinguishes between the costs caused by a decision and the abatement costs, the difference being an indication of the benefits of taking action will be developed: the FOODCoST EU-Global database externality costs.

The proposed approach will be validated in 6 case studies. The output will be:

A FOODCoST VALUATION Guidefor policy makers, business actors and other stakeholders describing the steps needed to calculate external costs and benefits for specific types of decisions.

A method to measure the degrees of internalisation of externalities.

An agenda for future research and innovation (R&I) to further operationalise the calculation of externalities of food.


The action plan includes: