Living Labs contribute to more sustainable food systems

The FOOdIVERSE project is looking for new solutions that could make food systems more diversified and sustainable. In June 2022 the project reached a fundamental milestone and established the 'Living Labs' in all partner countries.

Team FOOdIVERSE at mid-term meeting in Oslo.

FOOdIVERSE Living Labs are open innovation ecosystems that engage actors in various positions in food systems. The Living Labs were established with cooperation between food networks in Germany, Poland, Italy, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Case study research were conducted in all of these countries aiming to evaluate the Living Lab approach as a tool employed by different types of food networks to generate innovation. The research proved that food networks tend to be citizen-centered Living Labs. Their innovative potential relates to their ability to empower different actors in the food systems. Their action leads to reconfiguration and differentiation in the food system.

The FOOdIVERSE team is simultaneously conducting other research tasks. They are studying diversity in food governance, food chains and food cultures. The results of this research will provide additional scientific input for Living Lab activities. The project is preparing national reports that allows to compare legal regulations and policies in FOOdIVERSE partner countries. FOOdIVERSE has conducted audits in supermarkets to check the level of diversity of products available there and surveys among farmers has been carried out. On this bases the project can report on factors that influence their decisions concerning agrobiodiversity. A good starting point for the Living Lab activities was the focus groups, which allowed the project to examine diverse foodscapes.

FOOdIVERSE Living Labs are place-based and participant-driven. They will carry out a 3-stage innovation process, that starts by defining the problem that they are intending to solve. Then ideas about possible measures will be generated. The final stage of the process is 'acceptance finding': the best solutions will be testet and disseminated. The whole process will be depicted in a 'Diversification Road Map', which is going to be a final product delivered by FOOdIVERSE team.

The Living Labs cooperate with different types of food networks and therefore they are quite diversified among themselves. The Living Lab operating in the Oslo region is based on Haveland Community Supported Agriculture initiative. In Krakow, Poland, FOOdIVERSE formed the Living Lab in cooperation with Wawelska Food Cooperative. The project has got two Living Labs engaging Local Food Policy Councils: in Giessen (Germany) and in Trento (Italy). The FOOdIVERSE Living Lab operating in Coventry (UK) engages the South West Grain Network that gathers bakers, millers and farmers.

You can follow FOOdIVERSE on Twitter: @Foodiverse_EU

The latest news from our Living Labs are available on project’s website:

EditorKarin Ullven, EPOK / DesignChristine Dilling, ICROFS

CORE Organic Cofund is an ERA-NET funded by the European Commission´s
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Contract No. 727495.