The Budapest City Lab met for the second time in November to talk about inspirational showcases and potential leverage points for change and transformation within the following three topics:
- Sustainable & Healthy Diets
- Situation of Small Farmers
- Food Waste
The group that looked at the food system through the perspective of healthy and sustainable diets created a model centered around consumers, based on the premise that conscious consumers who are aware of the power of their decisions are key to any kind of transformation or change in this area. Several areas of intervention were identified. Here are some examples of concrete actions that actors are planning to implement: idea generator session with a focus on the food system, online community space and resource center, engaging thought leaders, and developing educational programs for the younger generation.
Analyzing the food system from the perspective of small farmers, creating an innovation ecosystem emerged as the primary concern for the participants. While establishing HUBs is a well-known best practice in the case of technological innovations, this approach is not yet widespread in the Hungarian food sector. A strengthened innovation ecosystem could support small farmers in creating new partnerships with other farmers, as well as, with different actors of the food system, and thus, could provide a solution for the high level of fragmentation that is currently present in the network. In addition, it could ensure more efficient professional support for small farmers in various areas, such as logistics or marketing.
In the case of the challenge of food waste, the team identified the following three areas as the primary concern for the next couple of years: 1) education and awareness-raising, 2) network building via the organization of events, 3) strengthening co-operation with legislators.
In all the three thematic groups the high level of fragmentation and incoherent operation of the system, and the question of responsibility emerged as primary concerns. For long-term, real change, it is essential to identify common interests, establish coordination and strengthen cooperation between the different groups.
It is still possible to join the FIT4FOOD2030 Budapest network. The City Lab team is actively looking for partners to co-create innovative educational modules and support the transformation of the food system via competence development, hence, do not hesitate to contact them!
This article was first published on the website of the Budapest City Lab coordinator’s website, the ESSRG (link).