The consortium meeting summed up the results of the first year of the project

News 2020-09-14 at 11:05
The entire Just Food project consortium hopes for a rapid improvement in the COVID-19 situation and wishes everyone happy autumn and a constructive dialogue on the way to a sustainable, climate-smart and just food system! © Anna Ott

The Just Food project has been going on for one year. A lot has already happened and been achieved. The initial groundwork is now ready, and the work has started in the various sub-research projects. Now, researchers are facing a busy autumn when research data can be studied properly.

During its first year, the project has gained great visibility among various actors in the food system. “This is a positive thing, of course, but it also brings pressure, as we receive a lot of different speaker requests. This autumn the aim is to get preliminary results from the various sub-projects to support the discussion on a just food transition,” says Minna Kaljonen, the leading researcher and principal investigator of the project.

A major project of the Just Food project this autumn is the organisation of a policy dialogue and the publication of policy recommendations to policymakers in October. The policy brief will introduce the issue of defining and assessing justice in the food transitions.

Case studies progressing

The case studies looking for practical solutions have concentrated this autumn, for example, on how to make school meals more climate-friendly. In this case study food services and young people of the city of Helsinki and the municipality of Muurame are involved. The aim is to find just solutions together with young people. This autumn, we will also learn about what justice issues Valio dairy farmers see with regards to a carbon-neutral milk chain. In addition, a case study on soybean production conducted in collaboration with our Brazilian partners will help to understand justice issues within global value chains. Further, community supported agriculture is being examined in terms of a justice distribution of income.

At the heart of the project is the examination of different transition pathways from the perspectives of climate and nutrition, farmers' livelihoods as well as wider environmental impacts. Modelling work will continue in the autumn, and the first results are expected early next year.

The effects of COVID-19 could not be avoided

The COVID-19 situation has affected the project. For example, many events have had to be cancelled or postponed. Fortunately, we have been able to organise some events online. "We are currently working on the project's own podcast series, so that we can discuss the just food transition with those interested on a larger scale," says Kaisa Karttunen, the Head of Interaction of the project.

This autumn, the project consortium meeting was held partly online and partly at the Viikki Campus of the University of Helsinki. The two-days meeting brought together researchers and experts from Finland, Switzerland and Brazil. Although the meeting could have been hold entirely online, everyone participating at the Viikki Campus agreed that it was good to sit around the same table to discuss.

More information

  • Principal Investigator of Just food project Minna Kaljonen, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE,
  • Head of Interaction of Just food project Kaisa Karttunen, e2 Research,

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