The aim of Veg+ is to address Brazil’s Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) challenges of poor diet and sustainability through innovation in training, research and science. There is much interest in current dietary patterns in light of climate change and an expanding global population.
Plant foods are associated with fewer greenhouse gasses but where 87.5% of consumers 16-24 years old in Brazil consume 1 portion a day despite evidence favouring these foods as key components for the prevention of chronic disease (social welfare). Strengthening the economic potential of the 5 million ‘family farms’ in Brazil which employ three quarters of the farm labour force and are responsible for one third of agricultural income is inherent to this proposal.
Veg+ is designed to build capacity and deliver specific transferable skills in operations (short food supply chain), foodservice systems and food consumer research (novel tools and metrics in consumer science e.g. young adults’ attitude to and consumption of vegetables) placed within the context of public health.
Veg+ brings together the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC) with an internationally recognised group of food/consumer researchers at Bournemouth University (BU). The project builds a high-quality collaborative international platform in the field of sustainable food consumption and production through increased vegetable intake while providing innovative and entrepreneurial Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) the skills to apply an agroecological approach. The political momentum is present for a coherent framework for food and nutrition security that is market-creating, open science and multi-actor engagement, building transferable global talent and capacity.