Food consumption significantly influences resource use and the environmental effects of food production and distribution. Currently a rather homogenous group of well-educated and affluent consumers is strongly interested in organic food. The mainstream food supply chains and their governance are characterised by a food regime that creates large quantities of standardised food. A more diverse food system could deliver more choices and could be more sustainable. What is lacking is a systematic and practice-oriented characterisation of diversity in the food system and its impact on resilience, enhancing socio-economic and environmental pillars of sustainability.
The FOOdIVERSE project aims to produce practice-oriented knowledge on how diversity in diets, novel food supply chains and food governance contributes to more organic and sustainable food systems. The project provides multi-level perspectives on transforming local food systems across Europe by promoting diversity of consumers, producers and key stakeholders.
Methodologically and theoretically this project takes a relational approach on diversity, emphasising different characteristics in various contexts and across different scales. Diversity has diverse meanings, for example in urban Norway or in rural United Kingdom, but also to German consumers, Italian government officials or Polish food producers. We seek to identify the relations in characteristics of diversity that accelerate a transformation toward more sustainable food systems.
The project directly promotes more sustainable and organic food systems through involving consumers, producers, food-processors and those governing food systems with a living lab methodology. A user-centred and innovation approach in local contexts of Italy, Germany, Norway, Poland and the United Kingdom assists in comparing whilst instantaneously implementing the results in real-life scenarios. We engage different actors and include a diverse critical range of viewpoints on organic food systems.