Inclusive and smart ways to communicate sustainability of food
The sustainability food labelling framework can help consumers in making sustainable food choices. An improved understanding of the drivers of food choices and the role of sustainability can support in using EU and national policy makers and government actions and funds most efficiently and using the best approaches[[Placzek, O., ""Socio-economic and demographic aspects of food security and nutrition"", OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers, No. 150, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/49d7059f-en, 2021.]]. Information itself may not be enough to change citizens’ perception and actions, it should be addressed “in the right way” (emotional cues…etc.) and consider their current knowledge and information needs. Citizens’ food choices, although frequently characterized as a matter of personal choice, are subjective largely by food environments[[ European Public Health Alliance (2019) “Food environments are the physical, economic, political and socio-cultural contexts in which people engage with the food system to make their decisions about acquiring, preparing and consuming food” at https://epha.org/what-are-food-environments/.]] and there is a need to understand the influence of marketing and media as part of the environment, sometimes creating adverse effects[[ World Health Organisation “Tackling food marketing to children in a digital world: trans-disciplinary perspectives”, https://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/322226/Tackling-food-marketing-children-digital-world-trans-disciplinary-perspectives-en.pdf, 2016.]].
Proposals are expected to address the following:
- Analyse the impact of different influential factors, such as norms/beliefs/cultural environments as well as medias and their way of communicating on the consumer understanding of sustainability, emotional beliefs and response to sustainability information including issues of trust and reliability;
- Analyse the status of consumer information expectations/needs (conscious and unconscious) related to sustainability and understand how sustainability related information expectations/needs can be increased/developed as well as their drivers and challenges;
- Test different means of transmission (including different actors sharing information (private vs public)) and presentations of sustainability related information to guide and change consumer behaviour best (including increased willingness to pay for sustainable products and services);
- Test the response of the public to information related to at least two dimensions of sustainability, including aspects that cover the whole food chain, such as for example biodiversity, packaging or composting, locally produced products;
- Proposals should include a dedicated task, appropriate resources and a plan on how they will collaborate with other projects under the topic HORIZON-CL6-2024-GOVERNANCE-01-3: The role of mainstream media, social media and marketing in fostering healthy and sustainable consumption patterns and how to encourage good practice or incentives”;
Proposals are encouraged to cooperate with actors such as the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). The JRC may provide expertise on how to strengthen the relationship between scientists and European policy makers and to promote research and collaboration on food systems science.
Proposals must implement the 'multi-actor approach' and ensure adequate involvement of citizens and civil society, together with social innovators, planners, social scientists, communication and marketing experts and public authorities to develop new methods and approaches to innovation. This topic should involve the effective contribution of SSH disciplines.