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LiveWell for LIFE - Livewell plate for low impact food in Europe

LIFE10 ENV/UK/000173


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Contact details:

Project Manager: Jane WALLACE-JONES
Email: JWJones@wwf.org.uk



Project description:

Background

Food consumption patterns in Europe are currently unsustainable. The EU Environmental Impact of Products (EIPRO) report calculates that the food sector in the EU (considering the entire supply chain from "farm to fork") accounts for some 31% of EU greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and 20-30% of most categories of environmental burden. Few consumer campaigns focus on the environmental sustainability of European diets in terms of factors such as water resources and climate change impacts. However, developing a better understanding of what constitutes a sustainable diet is essential for a healthy population, environmental sustainability, and food and energy security. Sustainability criteria for food systems have been developed in the UK, and more work is required to determine the composition of sustainable diets across the EU.


Objectives

The main objective of the LiveWell for LIFE project was to reduce GHG emissions from the EU food supply chain. The project aimed to demonstrate sustainable diets for EU Member States, promote a supportive policy environment, develop tangible pathways for the implementation of sustainable diets, and disseminate this knowledge widely across the EU. Pilot actions were planned in France, Sweden and Spain to help improve and consolidate existing knowledge about the links between food consumption and environmental sustainability, particularly with respect to climate change. The project aimed to prepare country-specific sustainable diets with inputs from a network of European food stakeholders, and the feedback mechanism embedded in its LiveWell Plate tool.


Results

The project developed demonstration diets - LiveWell Plates - for France, Spain and Sweden. These comply with national nutritional guidance and resemble current dietary patterns (as a proxy for cultural acceptability), but they have the potential to decrease GHG emissions by 25% compared to current average diets. Cost-benefit analysis reports were produced for these diets, which showed they produced environmental benefits without costing more than the current average diets.

The project team identified and developed a series of EU policy options and pathways to facilitate the adoption of sustainable diets in each of the three pilot countries, and contributed to a raised awareness of sustainable diets among EU policy-makers through its extensive dissemination activities. The project used the LiveWell Plate as a tool to communicate the concept of sustainable diets to stakeholders and showed that it was a useful tool for promoting sustainable diets to the general public.

A stakeholder network - the Network of European Food Stakeholders - was established during the project to bring together representatives from all relevant sectors, to facilitate a coordinated approach to sustainable diets. Network members came from national government departments, consumer-based organisations, producer organisations, research bodies and institutions, NGOs, EU-level stakeholders and international organisations. In total, the network comprised around 50 European food stakeholders from the pilot countries and 17 Brussels-based organisations representing the whole food supply chain in the wider EU. Networking activities included workshops and themed webinars. Network members provided feedback on the project’s research, helped identify opportunities and barriers to the adoption of the LiveWell Plates, helped develop public policy options and practical pathways for implementing sustainable diets, and disseminate the LiveWell Plates and the concept of healthy and sustainable diets.

The project team advanced a number of initiatives within the private sector on sustainable diets, including a stakeholder declaration on sustainable food in the framework of the High-level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Chain. The final report of the Network of European Food Stakeholders made eight policy recommendations. The report can be read on the project’s website (livewellforlife.eu/), along with the other project reports, which include ‘Food patterns and dietary recommendations in Spain, France and Sweden’, ‘Eating our way to a healthy planet’, ‘A balance of health and sustainable food choices for France, Spain and Sweden’, ‘On our plate today: healthy, sustainable food choices’, ‘Adopting healthy, sustainable diets: key opportunities and barriers’, and ‘The future of food – building the foundations for change’.

Whilst the overall objective of the LiveWell for LIFE project was to decrease GHG emissions from the EU food supply chain, it focused on the development of EU policy on sustainable diets rather than seeking to change consumer behaviour or directly target GHG emissions in the supply chain. Therefore, tangible environmental benefits will materialise if policies on sustainable diets are adopted. The project’s cost-benefit analysis, for the adoption of the LiveWell plate recommendations by an additional 30% and 70% of the EU population, showed that it could lead to significant benefits in terms of a reduction of environmental impacts and improvements in public health.

The LiveWell for LIFE project demonstrated the viability of sustainable (low GHG emission) diets in terms of cost, compliance with nutritional guidance and cultural acceptance, and for delivering benefits in terms of the environment and public health. It showed that the concept of the LiveWell Plates can be adapted and transferred to different countries, and that a sustainable diet can be developed without requiring a major shift from current dietary patterns. It has therefore played a significant role in the European sustainable diets debate.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Industry-Production - Food and Beverages
Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors


Keywords

decision making support‚  consumption pattern‚  greenhouse gas‚  resource conservation


Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • COM(2014)398 - "Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe" (02.07.2014)
  • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)
  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • COM(2014)15 - Policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030 (22.01.2014 ...

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator WWF-UK
Type of organisation NGO-Foundation
Description The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is an international environmental NGO, and WWF-UK is a member of the WWF global network. WWF-UK works to address global challenges, such as climate change, habitat destruction and the unsustainable consumption of natural resources.
Partners Friends of Europe WWF European Policy Office

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Project reference LIFE10 ENV/UK/000173
Duration 01-OCT-2011 to 30-MAR -2015
Total budget 2,078,844.00 €
EU contribution 1,039,422.00 €
Project location South East (UK)(United Kingdom)

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Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "LiveWell for LIFE - final recommendations"
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version