Still going strong, despite COVID-19!

News 2020-11-10 at 10:44
© Just food/SYKE

What a year it has been! The Just Food project has had to learn flexibility, tolerance for uncertainty and new ways of working. But we have made progress, despite the difficulties.

The collection of data is dependent on face-to-face interviews and meetings and has therefore suffered from the situation. Fortunately, the survey of field biodiversity has progressed well. Modelling and the conceptual work are also going smooth even without face-to-face meetings. Many meetings have been organised online or by phone, but nearly all international conferences were cancelled.

Although we have gained experience in working online on different platforms over the years, there are still technical problems in organising events. In addition, the inspiration that springs up from face-to-face encounters and interactions is hard to replace.

There is a growing interest in fair transition. Our project researchers have received many requests for presentation, interviews and articles. We have responded to them to the best of our ability and will continue to do so. Knowledge is to be used, not just to be put in books.

To disseminate information, we also published our first policy brief and launched the podcast ‘Ruoka murroksessa’ (in Finnish) addressing justice issues in the food system. We are looking forward to your feedback!

In 2021, we will already be able to share results of our research. We will present new information on the climate-related ideas of dairy farmers, principles and criteria of justice, and the new tidings in Community Supported Agriculture. We will be able to create operating models for dealing with, for example, the effects of dietary changes on nutrition and agriculture. As soon as our Brazilian partners get to interview soybean farmers, our understanding of the soya value chain will also improve.

The encounter between the researcher and the seeker of information is key. Problems are often caused by the fact that decision-making processes do not go hand in hand with research projects. That is why the strategic research approach is so important: work is done together with stakeholders. In this way, research questions are clarified, and research perspectives are passed on to decision-makers.

The Just Food project is about a year and a half old. We celebrate our birthday in the spirit of work.

Kaisa Karttunen, Head of Interaction of Just food project and researcher, e2 Research

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