Successful kick-off of VISIONARY’s SPI workshops

4. July 2023

VISIONARY’s science policy interfaces (SPI) have been kicked off successfully. To date, ten out of 16 SPIs across eight countries held their first workshop, bringing together around 170 stakeholders from the food system, among them farmers, policymakers from local and national levels, scientists, retailers, advisory service specialists, certification bodies, NGOs and food companies. Together, they undertook a foresight exercise. This framed their discussion of some of the most pressing issues of our food systems: agricultural water management, the future of organic food and farming, and the promotion of plant-based products along the value chain.

In Denmark, the participants looked at how to increase the currently very low consumer demand for legumes such as peas and beans in their country. They identified four areas of action: improving taste, convenience and overall attractiveness of dishes and products with legumes; capacity building for public kitchens; increasing availability and attractiveness of legumes in supermarkets; campaigns and marketing efforts. In Hungary, stakeholders developed a vision for the future of the organic value chain in their country, in the second workshop, water value chain stakeholders discussed agricultural water management from the perspective of farmers’ collaboration and came up with a shared vision for agricultural water management. In Scotland, participants discussed ways to promote organic food and farming in their country and arrived at a shared vision of what changes are needed. Participants also outlined interventions needed to promote ‘sustainable’ transitions towards organic farming in Scotland, including market (demand) development, procurement, supply chains and policy alignment.

The other SPI workshops took place in Germany, Italy, Romania and Spain. Workshops in England and Poland will follow shortly. The SPIs are participatory multi-actor platforms that accompany and support the research work throughout the VISIONARY project. Learn more about our SPIs and check out our SPI of the month, Tamar Grow Local.