What is the challenge?
Our current food system is estimated to account for 20–30 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Calculations indicate that a third of the world’s cultivated food goes to waste. Moreover, food production and land use lead to biodiversity loss, pollution and harmful environmental impacts on land and water.
At the same time, primary producers in particular have marked problems in achieving profitability. This further limits the potential for innovation and development in the food system. Moreover, malnutrition and obesity, and the associated health costs, are on the rise.
For us to meet these challenges, we need to make fundamental changes in our ways of producing and consuming food.
How can the programme contribute to a solution?
Mistra Food Futures will work out targets for what the Swedish food system needs to achieve by 2045 to be both sustainable — economically, socially and environmentally — and resilient. The targets and measures will be analysed in a global context to ensure that national solutions promote progress towards the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The programme will review the current situation and identify obstacles to and opportunities for achieving the targets, and indicators to evaluate and ensure progress. Mistra Food Futures will also identify and develop action plans to enable the Swedish agricultural sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2045, and also consider effects on other environmental targets and objectives in society.
To succeed in radically changing the Swedish food system, Mistra Food Futures will identify implementation strategies for both the short and the long term. Their purpose is to help bring about a rapid change, but also contribute to a long-term transformation.
Who will benefit from the programme?
To apply a holistic approach to every part of the food system, academic researchers will collaborate closely with government agencies, companies, industry associations and consumers. The goal is to become a platform that is based on current research and promotes collaboration and innovation.
The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) is the programme host. The work is carried out in an interdisciplinary consortium, jointly with the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) at Stockholm University, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, other universities and key operators in the food industry.
Video about Mistra Food Futures (in Swedish)