Sustainability Weeks
Sustainability Week 3: Step Up To The Plate!

Food Systems - The Future Under Our Fork
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Resource stability, eco-friendly production, and a balance between healthy market dynamics and sustainable consumption - all of these are topical concerns in both European markets and policymaking, and they are in dire need of more liberal voices and perspectives.

The European Dialogue Programme (EDP) of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom launched a series of three digital Sustainability Weeks, to be held during the second half of 2021, which will be  dedicated to aspects around sustainability and the economy with a particular focus on circular economy models. The "Sustainability Week 3: Step Up To The Plate!" will be the last event of the series.  

With 75 percent of citizens living in urban areas and food consumption rising, the production and circulation of fresh quality produce in Europe is facing new challenges that requires innovative, out-of-the-box solutions. The traditional food systems leaves a tremendous environmental imprint, with its impact ranging from loss of ecosystems and water loss over high carbon emissions, chemical pollution and transport emissions to food waste and unsustainable packaging. Low impact agriculture and recent forms of urban farming such as rooftop, vertical and indoor farms have the potential to counterbalance many of these negative aspects of food circulation. They bring food production closer to urban consumers, shorten food supply chains and save carbon emissions from transportation. They also allow for more transparency for the consumers. But how sustainable are they really – and how cost efficient will they be long-term? What support systems do they need to remodel the food system effectively?

The transition towards an innovative, sustainable, and profitable food system requires a well-balanced cooperation between local businesses that offer innovative, high-quality food products, open-minded consumers that are ready to change their habits around food consumption, and municipal authorities that support ambitious legislation, remodel food procurement, and share good local practice.

To achieve these goals, circular solutions play an important role in establishing new resource efficient, sustainable food production mechanisms – be it by developing smart food sharing solutions or by establishing ways to reuse waste, water and by-products of the agri-food and fishing industries.

This digital seminar explores the role of consumers, producers, and municipalities in their efforts to reconcile the food system with sustainability standards and citizens’ growing preferences for healthy, equitable and low-impact food. 

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The third and last part of the series will consist of an extended IMPULSE session: This format is designed to foster knowledge building and to explore the liberal potential of cleaner technologies, less polluting business models and sustainable consumption habits.

We will hold a panel discussion with three outstanding experts in the fieldPeter Defranceschi (Head Global Food Program and Head of Brussels Office, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability Europe), Dr. Bernd Pölling (Urban Farming Expert, Department of Agriculture, South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences, Dortmund) and Diana Messa (Policy Advisor, Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Renew Europe Group, European Parliament). 

The panel discussion will then be put on hold for a final inspiring Spotlights on Liberals in Sustainability input on: 

Sustainable entrepreneurship and urban short food chain initiatives in Ghent by Mathias De Clercq, Mayor, City of Ghent (Open VLD).

Afterwards, the session will be rounded off with the second part of the panel discussion. 


Kindly register for this event by 10 November at *

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join the webinar.

  • SW 3 Invitation

    Check out the invitation for the full programme.

Curious to learn what we have worked on so far? Check out the programme of our Sustainability Week 1 which we held back in July >>

Sustainability Weeks: Sustainability Week 1: Consumption & Production (

Sustainability Weeks : Sustainability Week 2: At home & on the move (