Concepts and Methods of FIT4FOOD2030

The FIT4FOOD2030 project is built on a number of central concepts and approaches that are key to successfully establishing the FOOD 2030 Platform and which are integrated into a phased plan of activities.

The different concepts and methods used in this project are described here. These are:

Future-proof food systems

FOOD 2030 introduces a ‘food system’ approach which considers and brings together the entire ‘value chain’ from inputs, to primary production (agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries), harvesting, storage, processing, packing, distribution, waste streams to consumer intake and back. This understanding also goes beyond the production and delivery of a sufficient amount of food for all by including the provision of safe and nutritious food for healthy and sustainable diets in the long-term.

To become future proof, food systems need to become resilient and need to be able to tackle the joint challenges of climate change, environmental sustainability of food production and consumption, non-communicable diseases, migratory flows, emerging trade issues within and outside the EU, livelihood of rural areas, and interplay with the wider bio-economy strategy.

The food system approach also helps to provide space for discussion on adaptation options to improve outcomes across the food system, provides a framework for the systematic analysis of the synergies and trade-offs of particular interventions, and ensures that all the right people are engaged in the discussion.

Responsible Research & Innovation (RRI)

RRI is a dynamic, iterative process where all stakeholders involved in the R&I practice become mutually responsive and share responsibility for the outcomes and process of R&I. RRI activities aim to bring together a wide range of actors and activities involved in R&I processes and align them towards desirable, sustainable and acceptable future outcomes. [1]

FIT4FOOD2030 coordinator Prof Jacqueline Broerse explaining the concept of RRI at the final conference of the EU funded project RRI Tools in June 2016:

To reach these outcomes, R&I processes must become:

Diverse & inclusive:

from the outset R&I should involve a wide range of actors that engage in deliberation and decision-making, helping to yield more useful knowledge. In addition to involving NGOs and CSOs, FIT4FOOD2030 will also engage with consumers, citizens, SMEs, farmers, fishermen, educators, health workers, and others.

Anticipative & reflective:

this means that there is reflection on the underlying assumptions, values, and purposes of R&I to better understand how it can shape the future.

Open & transparent: 

communicate throughout the process in a balanced, meaningful way to enable public scrutiny and dialogue, benefiting the visibility of R&I.

Responsive & adaptive to change: 

be able to modify modes of thought and behaviour, and adapt overarching structures, in response to changing knowledge, and perspectives.

Open Science (OSc)

Our understanding of RRI also encompasses OSc, aiming to make scientific research, data and dissemination accessible to other scientists and society to better facilitate collaboration. Within the context of FNS, OSc entails the development of cloud-based data infrastructures to allow different stakeholders to benefit from the ‘big data’ revolution in a responsible way.

Community of Practice (CoP)

In order to ensure its continuation, the emerging FOOD 2030 platform will need to become self-sustainable which will be achieved by using a CoP approach to network governance. [2] Building a CoP starts with bringing together multiple actors who form a community around a domain of interest with a shared passion or a sense of urgency to progress together.

The most successful CoPs:

  • are driven by intrinsically motivated members
  • stimulate the imagination of participants and promote ‘out of the box thinking’
  • are flexible and can adapt their activities according to the changing boundaries of the CoP
  • develop collaborative relationships and norms amongst members.

Through such mutual engagement CoP members can create innovative solutions and new practices.

International collaboration

The project consortium has been put together with partners that can provide evidence of having a large number of collaborations with non-European countries and global oriented initiatives in the context of Food and Nutrition Security. FIT4FOOD2030 fosters a unique integration of existing and arising networks and infrastructures of which many are part of the consortium.



  1. Ingram, J.S.I. (2011). From Food Production to Food Security: Developing interdisciplinary, regional-level research. Wageningen University.
  2. Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge University Press.