Briefs of the 2nd FOSTER Project Meeting

The second FOSTER project meeting took place at the BioSense Institute in Novi Sad, Serbia on 28th and 29th of March, 2023.

28th of March

During the first day of the FOSTER meeting, consortium members engaged in several interactive sections to learn from each other and to learn with each other. The learning from each other is crucial as the consortium consists of a diversity of members who are active in linking the food system from theoretical and practical contexts.

During the several sections, each partner from the Citizen-Driven Initiatives (CDI) elaborated on their own experience and environment regarding policies as opportunities/barriers in changing food systems on local and national level, successes/barriers in knowledge exchange among different stakeholders for changing food systems, and how to improve public engagement as an opportunity or a hindrance in changing food systems. These were powerful insights to better understand the different points of view within the project, how the different CDIs interact in each level and actors of the food system, and the challenging obstacle that they are facing.

Between sections, participants discussed the FOSTER Knowledge Platform, about its ideas and content, what was already done and what is expected to be done in the future. Several points were discussed, including the main end-users of such platform, on how to improve it, its complexity, contents, databases, and sustainability.

The last two sections of the first day approached FOSTER´sliving narrative”, presented by Anne Loeber, regarding CDIs transformative role in the EU food system changing, and measures to improve the communication, dissemination and exploitation of FOSTER activities to specific target audiences.

29th of March

The second day of the project meeting was held under governance/policies ruling the EU food system with a preparatory session for further interactions within each CDI and knowledge partner.

In the interactive sections, each CDI could better elaborate on how they see themselves regarding their positioning in governance and policy authorities, on a local, regional, national, and EU level. This was a good way to kick off a fruitful discussion on policies that have an impact on each CDI, and Food Systems and Research and Innovation Policies, that may provide new opportunities, needs and barriers.

Lastly, partners had an opportunity to discuss the specific actions for each work package. One of the main discussion topics was the Summer School, which will take place in the Netherlands, on 3rd – 5th of October, 2023, together with Wageningen University & Research and Food Transition Coalition, on a first approach to Food Systems.

At the end of the meeting, FOSTER partners had a wonderful opportunity to meet face-to-face and had fruitful discussions where they were able to share their thoughts and ideas on what is needed from every project member to effectively achieve the project’s goals.