This paper defines the research agenda of the SUSFANS project, describes its history and its potential societal impacts. It contributes to balanced and encompassing views on how to strengthen food and nutrition security outcomes in the EU and how to improve the performance of the food system in the EU from the perspective of social, environmental and economic sustainability. The research is led by the notion that improvements in the diets of the European consumer must come from, and be supportive of, sustainable food systems. Its holistic, integrative approach builds a set of metrics, models and foresight tools, useable for navigation on sustainable food and nutrition security. This results in a coherent and supported vision on sustainable food and nutrition security in the EU and globally, and underpins a perspective on how EU policies on farming, fishing, food and nutrition could contribute to that vision with greater efficacy than today.