FASS-Food EU Project – Consolidate and scale up Fair, Accessible, Sustainable and Short Food Chains for the EU

FASS Food Final Report – Click on the image to read the full report

The project undertaken jointly by the Institute of Development Policy (University of Antwerp), World Fair Trade Organisation Europe (WFTO) and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) aims to highlight and strengthen sustainable, healthy and fair EU Food paths, offering concrete and viable alternatives to mainstream food production and consumption.

Entitled Consolidate, and scale up Fair, Accessible, Sustainable and Short Food Chains for the EU (FASS-Food EU), the research explores how alternative and local food systems – particularly, short and collaborative food chain initiatives – develop and work to establish healthy, sustainable and fair food systems, thus contributing to achieve important regional and global policy objectives.

This is done through a combination of a bottom-up case study analysis of 3 short and collaborative food chain initiatives led by project partners in Belgium (Kort’om Leuven), Greece (Syn Allois), Italy (Solidale Italiano) ) and the top-down mapping of structures and actors of food governance. Framed as a participatory research, FASS-Food aims to set a clear diagnosis on the current functioning of these short, fair and collaborative food systems, with a focus on their development path, their leverage points, and the institutional or organizational lock-ins that they face. Those conclusions will feed into concrete policy recommendations to define how institutional and organizational innovations can support and facilitate the scale-up and diffusion of fair, accessible, short, and sustainable EU food systems.

The key objectives set out by the project are the following:

  • Map the relevant ecosystem of national and EU-level actors who can contribute to consolidate and scale-up short and collaborative food chain initiatives with a view to creating healthy, accessible, sustainable and fair food systems in the EU
  • Investigate how power is organized and distributed along food chains across different levels, of governance (supra-national, national and sub-national) as well as how such power organization and distribution results into institutional and organizational bottlenecks that hamper the consolidation and scaling-up of existing initiatives
  • Identify institutional, organizational and technological innovations to overcome existing lock-ins
  • Set up a consortium of actors from the mapped ecosystem to implement identified solutions and strengthen existing leverage points.