Research and innovation policy to make our food systems ready for the future. Main aims, focus areas under Horizon Europe, timeline and publications

Food 2030 is the EU's research and innovation policy to transform food systems and ensure everyone has enough affordable, nutritious food to lead a healthy life. The ambition is to achieve a resilient food system that is fit for the future. Food systems need to also deliver co-benefits for people’s health, our climate, planet and communities.
Food 2030 provides the policy framework to accelerate this transition within safe planetary boundaries. It is in line with, and supports, the goals of the European Green Deal, Farm to Fork strategy and bioeconomy strategy.

Why food systems need to change

Our food systems today are unsustainable. They are both affected by and drivers of

  • climate change
  • resources scarcity
  • pollution and waste
  • environmental degradation
  • loss of biodiversity
  • population growth
  • malnutrition and diet-related non-communicable disease

How the policy works

Food 2030 covers the entire food system, linking multiple sectors from primary production by land and water to food processing, retail and distribution, packaging, waste and recycling, catering services and consumption.

It joins up research and innovation activities in different areas and across disciplines to find answers to interconnected challenges. Its ambition is to

  • strengthen policy coherence
  • boost and leverage funding and investment
  • narrow the innovation gap (the gap between actual innovation and the innovation that is needed)
  • increase market take-up and societal relevance of food products, tools and services
  • support the role of disruptive technologies, new approaches and business models in the food systems transition

Main goals

The ambition of Food 2030 is to achieve 4 key food and nutrition goals. Achieving them will deliver a range of co-benefits

Nutrition for sustainable and healthy diets

  • tackling malnutrition and obesity
  • personalising nutrition including for healthy ageing
  • sourcing and developing new protein alternatives to foster plant-based diets
  • improving food authenticity, traceability and safety systems
  • fostering consumption of forgotten crops for nutrition and resilience
  • supporting healthier and more sustainable diets with a focus on Europe and Africa

Food systems supporting a healthy planet

  • climate-smart food systems that adapt to climate change, conserve natural resources and help reduce the flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere
  • boosting biodiversity, healthy ecosystems and soils
  • fostering environmentally friendly sustainable agriculture and aquaculture

Circularity and resource efficiency

  • achieving zero food waste
  • using unavoidable biomass and waste as a resource
  • reducing water and energy use by more efficient industrial food processes
  • more tailored and local food on demand
  • sustainable and biodegradable food packaging and reducing plastics in food

Innovation and empowering communities

  • creating thriving innovation ecosystems and living labs that generate new business models and products
  • fostering sustainable and accessible food for all in towns, cities and regions
  • raising awareness and getting people engaged in food science and local food policy
  • supporting a place-based food sharing economy from farm to fork and fostering social innovation
  • developing data-driven food and nutrition systems that meet societal needs

10 pathways to achieve the goals

Funding will be made available under Horizon Europe to help find answers to Food 2030 priorities.

It will concentrate on 10 areas known as pathways for action

  1. Governance and systems change
  2. Urban food system transformation
  3. Food from the oceans and freshwater resources
  4. Alternative proteins and dietary shift
  5. Food waste and resource efficiency
  6. The microbiome world
  7. Healthy, sustainable and personalised nutrition
  8. Food safety systems of the future
  9. Food systems Africa
  10. Food systems and data

The 10 pathways for action are fully in line with the new proposed partnership on Safe and Sustainable Food Systems for People, Planet and Climate and supportive of the goals of the Mission area: soil health and food.

Source: FOOD 2030 - European Commission

Afbeelding credits

Icon afbeelding: Fusilli - food2030