City, University of London
BeanMeals-city-food-poster-v4.pdf (1.75 MB)

Mapping the missing middle from 'fork-to-farm’ and adapting a sustainability compass for assessing food systems outcomes: The case of mainstreaming UK grown beans

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posted on 2024-04-11, 09:34 authored by Jing Zhang, Monika Zurek

Transforming the food system to promote healthier diets, reduce environmental impacts and strengthen equity and local & national enterprises requires inclusive stakeholder dialogue and assessment approaches. However, the complexity of current food systems often obscures the implications of policies and masks trade-offs between different food system goals and stakeholder preferences. Drawing on the UKRI-funded BeanMeals project, we apply and adapt the Sustainability Compass in this study [developed in an EU H2020 project to assess innovations for the EU food system (; Hebinck et al., 2020) ] to assess the environmental, health and enterprise impacts and trade-offs of mainstreaming UK-grown beans (Godiva and Capulet, two fast-cooking varieties of dry beans developed for UK growing conditions and trialed for use in school meals in Leicestershire, UK). Using a 'fork-to-farm' approach, we are uncovering the complex dynamics of the UK bean system through mapping the missing middle of the bean value chain and engaging with key stakeholders. We assess the environmental, health and enterprise impacts of scaling up the demand and supply of UK-grown beans based on a range of scenarios, identifying barriers and opportunities beyond the local and national food provision. Our findings highlight the multifaceted nature of the food system and emphasise the importance of stakeholder engagement in shaping dietary transformation agendas. We demonstrate the potential of the adapted Sustainability Compass to assess food system outcomes and inform future food system decisions.


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