By creating a system-based understanding of how the food system, primarily in relation to the three value chains within FINEST, has developed and what development paths are ahead, the work package aims to contribute to achieving a sustainable transition of the food system.
In order to enable a sustainable transition of the agricultural and food sector, a system perspective is required that throws light on various components of the system and their mutual relationship and interaction. In this work package connected to FINEST, we take the research on socio-technical systems, primarily in research within sustainable conversion, as a point of departure. We see the agricultural and food sector as a socio-technical-ecological system (STES), where technologies, markets, institutions, practices, cultures, infrastructure and industrial structures, policies, and distribution chains interact with a variety of actors and stakeholders, and not least with the ecological system.
The work package aims to create a knowledge base around the parts of the system that have a direct or indirect connection to the three value chains included in FINEST, namely Swedish forest berries, Proteins from Swedish legumes and New concepts for food production. The three value chains complement each other conceptually with their different emphases on the relationship between the social, technical, and ecological: from a better utilization of nature's wild resources, to a transition within agriculture, to an experimental setting where food production and the ecological are disconnected. This diversity provides a good starting point for generalization to other initiatives for sustainable transition of the food system.
A main purpose of the work package is to create a deep understanding of the current situation that takes into account how the system has developed to how it is today. This is the basis for the work package's second main purpose, which is to map what future development opportunities exist and how these opportunities are sustainable from an economic, social and ecological perspective. The research within this work package will be done with a multimodal methodology, consisting of interviews, statistical data analysis, document studies, as well as collaboration with the Test Center (where technical knowledge is developed that is central to understanding future development potential) and Food Transition Lab (which through workshops with actors generates action-oriented knowledge). Such a dynamic analysis helps to understand path dependencies, obstacles and opportunities for a sustainable transition. The knowledge from this work package continuously contributes with a system perspective to the work done within the Test Center and Food Transition Lab.
A sustainable food system