Veg+ arises due to the increasingly interconnected challenges of natural resource scarcity, climate change and population growth, reflecting global FNS. A shift towards a healthier and more sustainable diet requires the involvement of multiple stakeholders, including public and private sectors, and considering the food journey from farm to fork.
Veg+ is timely and presents a collaborative platform addressing global priorities of excellent science, academic leadership and tackling societal challenges as well as reflecting UN Sustainable Development Goals (improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture, 2016). The UN General Assembly has officially declared 2019-2028 the decade of family farming. Family farmers are acknowledged as key leaders in pursuit of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically in ‘ensuring global food security, eradicating poverty, ending hunger, conserving biodiversity and achieving environmental stability’. Small scale farmers have the ability to produce healthy and nutritious food, enhance biodiversity, adapt to climate change and add to the economy by developing short food chains and local markets.
Veg+ will bring an innovative and integrated approach focusing on support to the family farming sector, promoting environmental protection, fostering markets for locally produced goods and services, and playing a crucial role in non-communicable disease prevention. For the first time, all factors that influence vegetable consumption in young adults will be considered; build capacity for rural business promotion, and extend the knowledge gained from the EU funded project VeggiEAT (www.veggieat.eu) led by BU.
WORK PLAN AND METHODS
The project is organised in 5 WPs.
WP1 – Baseline assessment and methodological design
Objective: develop the BU and UFSC collaboration through literature baseline assessment (D1.1) and evaluation of the current state of knowledge towards methodological design (D1.2). Methods: Systematic literature review.
WP2 – Local farmers’ supply
Objective: identification of local farmers’ vegetable potential within a SFSC and production of new mechanisms to maximise the innovative practitioner (D2.1), including questionnaire design, data collection, processing and analysis (UFSC). Contact with farmers will be facilitated by Cepagro (associated partner). Methods: Case study with local farmers. The content will be transcribed, and analysed by the UFSC team, using Thematic Analysis.
WP3 – Young adults’ vegetable consumption
Objective: assess Brazilian young adults’ attitude to and consumption of vegetables (D3.1), and propose strategies to improve consumption from a foodservice perspective (D3.2). Methods: Questionnaires with students collected and analysed by UFSC. Consumer response to different choice architecture (CA) interventions will be tested in a real life living laboratory at UFSC with support from BU team (pilot study). Finally, a field intervention considering the best response to CA from pilot will be conducted in a restaurant at UFSC.
WP4 – Innovative model
Objective: to co-produce an empirical innovative model linking local supply and determinants for increasing vegetable acceptability within the young adult population in a foodservice perspective to inform policy and practice (D4.1). Methods: Structural equation modelling will be applied.
WP5 – Dissemination and public engagement
Objective: dissemination of evidence based knowledge with emphasis on open science. Peer-reviewed academic papers (D5.1); Industry and academic conferences (D5.2); Public engagement through crowd of science events, policy dialogue forum, website, social media, vodcasts (D5.3), disseminating sustainable, solution-orientated research particularly to local farmers. Films based on the field research will be posted on Veg+ website.