Sustainable food system webinars

Co-hosted by high-profile partners, this series of short webinars explores different aspects of Europe’s food system following the publication of our evidence review report, A sustainable food system for the European Union and the associated scientific opinion of the European Commission’s Chief Scientific Advisors.

Webinar series

Throughout the second half of 2020

SAPEA's comprehensive review of the evidence on Europe's food system finds that it is not enough simply to increase productivity in a sustainable way. We also need to change from linear mass consumption to a more circular economy -- which will mean changing our norms, habits and routines.

We are launching a series of webinars discussing how to shift to a more sustainable food system. While each of the webinars will focus on a different topic, all of them will take our recent report A sustainable food system for the EU and the associated scientific opinion as a starting-point for the discussions.

Titles and topics are provisional, and more will be added to this list as the details are confirmed for each webinar.


Covid-19 and our foodFarm2ForkFood policy at a time of crisisEU's role in the global transitionInnovative foodsAgroecology & technology

2 July 2020 at 15:00 (CEST)

Covid-19 and our food:
How is the current crisis affecting how we eat?

The first of the series of webinars discussed changes of consumers' attitudes towards food as a public good instead of as a commodity. It confronted the conclusions of the SAPEA report with the challenges and changes observed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This webinar was co-hosted by Hubbub, a UK-based sustainability organisation.

Lead speakers

Additional contribution


4 September 2020 at 14:00 (CEST)

The EU's Farm2Fork strategy

The Farm2Fork Strategy aims to promote sustainable food systems by setting concrete targets and establishing an Action plan, annexed to the F2F Strategy. This creates the framework for a real debate on the future of food systems, leading to a legislative proposal for sustainable food systems by 2023.

This webinar brought together 30 organisations participating in the work of the EU Food Policy Coalition with Dr Jeroen Candel, a member of the working group which wrote the SAPEA evidence review report. Together, they discussed how closely the published Farm2Fork Strategy follows the scientific evidence, and which elements and approaches will be best to achieve food systems transformation.

This webinar was co-hosted by the new EU Food Policy Coalition.

Lead speakers

16 October 2020 at 14:00 (CET)

Food policy at a time of crisis:
what should the future look like?

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The global crisis of 2020 has made every one of us aware that ‘business as usual’ is not an option for future food policy. How have we arrived at where we are now, in terms of the food we eat, where we source it and the impact it has on our planet? What should a transformed future look like? What actions can we all take, collectively and individually, to bring about a sustainable and fair food system that is better for our health, the environment, society and the economy?

Our distinguished panel of experts share their vision for radical system change and set out their views on the workable ways forward that are needed to achieve it. You, the global audience, will be able to pose questions and contribute to the debate.

Our expert panellists are:

  • Professor Tim Lang – Professor of Food Policy at the City University of London, Commissioner on the EAT-Lancet Commission, which published the highly acclaimed 'Food in the Anthropocene' report (The Lancet, 2019)
  • Professor Terry Marsden – Professor of Environmental Policy and Planning at Cardiff University (Wales, UK), Director of the Sustainable Places Research Institute (2010-2020) and Chair of the Advisory Panel that recently oversaw a full systematic review of the European food policy landscape (SAPEA, 2020)
  • Professor Katrien Termeer – Chair of the Public Administration and Policy Group at Wageningen University & Research (Netherlands), Member of the Expert Group that recently conducted a comprehensive evidence review on Sustainable Food Systems (SAPEA, 2020)
  • Professor Carina Keskitalo – Professor of Political Science at Umea University (Sweden), Member of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors that recently published a Scientific Opinion and policy recommendations for a European sustainable food system (European Commission, 2020)
  • The Chair and moderator is Professor Ole Petersen, Vice-President of Academia Europaea.
  • This webinar is designed to support:

    • World Food Day, 16 October. #WorldFoodDay is launching a call for global solidarity to help the most vulnerable people to recover and make food systems more sustainable, stronger and resilient to shocks.
    • EU Green Week 2020, which focuses on the theme of nature and biodiversity. #EUGreenWeek

    22 October 2020 at 14:00 (CET)

    Towards a sustainable food system: the EU's role in the global transition

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    Working independently of the European Commission's Scientific Advice Mechanism, a high-level expert panel of the UN's Committee on Food Security has recently delivered evidence-based policy advice on how to transition to a more sustainable food system, and thus work towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Although the SAM focuses on the EU and the UN covers the whole globe, the conclusions reached and the recommendations provided are unequivocal: a transformation of our food system is necessary, and there is a broad scientific consensus on how to achieve this.

    Through a moderated discussion between key speakers from the UN and the SAM, this webinar will explore the key recommendations made to achieve a more sustainable food system, and discuss the particular role of the EU in this global transition.

    Lead speakers

    • Professor Carina Keskitalo, member of the European Commission's Group of Chief Scientific Advisors
    • Professor Peter Jackson, chair of the SAPEA working group whose report informed the Advisors' Opinion
    • Representatives of the UN Committee on World Food Security High-Level Panel of Experts:
      • Professor Martin Cole, steering committee chair
      • Professor Jennifer Clapp, steering committee member

    2 December 2020 at 14:00 (CET)

    Innovative foods

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    We know from reliable evidence that our societies need to transition to a more sustainable food system, so that we can provide enough healthy food for an increasing world population without harming the environment. One well-known recommendation is to promote a shift towards diets with fewer animal products and more alternative proteins.

    To accelerate this shift, many turn to innovative foods, such as cultivated (cultured) or plant-based meat. These look like very attractive solutions, as they offer the prospect of significantly reducing the negative effects of animal consumption on human health and the environment, while offering meat-eating consumers a similar sensory experience. But how big a contribution can these innovations make to the broader transition to a more sustainable food system? What does the evidence tell us about consumer attitudes and perceptions of food technologies, and what are suggested ways forward?

    This webinar will be co-hosted with the Good Food Institute.

    Late 2020 or early 2021

    Agroecology, technology and sustainable intensification

    Registration open soon

    This webinar will be co-hosted by the National Academy of Technologies of France. More details will follow shortly.


    Not yet available

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