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Main research question/goal
Upon request from eight important actors from the (entire) agro-food chain, this project uses an intensive participatory process to reach more sustainability. The two most relevant research questions are (1) What are the most optimal sustainability measures and modes of operation to facilitate this transformation? and (2) Which instruments can monitor the sustainability process of the agro-food chain most effectively and most efficiently? An important element is that the sustainability process is self-managed by the agro-food chain itself (i.e. it is not externally imposed). The actors and corresponding organisations therefore play an active and leading role. The actors have explicitly demanded an integrated approach in cooperation with all the actors in the food chain, from primary production and processing to marketing.  

Research approach
The process includes a system analysis, a strategic plan, an action plan and process monitoring. The first phase of the project is to organise strong stakeholder participation and provide scientific support for solving the posed questions. We perform a system analysis and SWOT analysis of the agro-food chain. Subsequently, we guide, observe and test the structuring of a strategic plan and propose a specific action plan through a participatory process. We select the appropriate indicators and develop adequate instruments to monitor the choices made. During the project, five “action labs” take place. These are practical hands-on experiments to test innovative changes in the real world. Intermediate measurements and evaluation of choices reveal possible future challenges.  

This project responds to a call for initiation and facilitation of a transformation process towards a sustainable agro-food chain. The final result is a specific action plan with tangible action points that can all the chain actors can follow step-by-step. We expect this research project to deliver visible sustainability changes within this agro-food chain.
Effective start/end date1/06/1330/06/15

ID: 4145514