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National Network for Balanced and Sustainable Food

The National Network for Balanced and Sustainable Food was launched last March! The project led by Food4Sustainability CoLAB was approved within the implementation of the innovation agenda "Terra Futura" - Sustainable Food initiative.

The National Network for Balanced and Sustainable Food will apply an integrated approach involving the different actors operating in territorial food systems. Aiming a systemic change in food behavior and valorization of the Mediterranean diet, the consortium of this initiative has developed a strategy that foresees the implementation of a set of activities that have as main objectives:

  • Promote behavioral change towards healthy and sustainable eating;

  • To study and monitor the different factors that influence and foster a good adherence to the Mediterranean Diet;

  • To create a structure that characterize territorial food systems to support the decision and definition of intervention priorities;

  • Promote networking and cooperation among the projects being implemented under the National Plan for Balanced and Sustainable Food (PNAES).

In addition to the creation of a governance model that promotes the articulation of all network partners, the project also foresees the creation of an Observatory of Territorial Food Systems, as well as the development of tools that facilitate territorial food systems characterization through a valuation benchmark, a citizen science app, a tool for mapping products and producers, among other communication and training materials.

The project will be implemented by a consortium composed by 13 entities.

Food4Sustainability CoLAB (F4S) as beneficiary/coordinating entity will be responsible for the coordination, monitoring of activities, financial follow-up and risk management. F4S will act as project promoter, having as main working areas the creation of the methodological basis for the development of the Food Systems Observatory, support in the development of valorization tools, and dissemination of results and promotion actions. The Polytechnic Institute of Viseu (IPV) as an R&D entity will play a central role in the definition of methodologies and validation of the network governance model and development of valorization tools. The Portuguese Federation of Local Development Associations (FMT) in representation of the Competence Centre for the Mediterranean Diet (CCDM) will contribute to the activation and dynamization of the pilot governance model to be created, promoting collaboration between the different operations in the territory. The Local Action Group, In Loco Association (IL) will be responsible for the capacity building plans to be developed for the network, as well as the creation of an identity and communication campaign and dissemination of the project results.

The Regional Directorate of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Center (DRAPC) through its Innovation Hub in Viseu (PIV) will contribute to the development of actions for the dissemination of good agricultural practices and identification of products/identity varieties of the territories. It is also important to highlight its importance for the integration in the technical and scientific advisory board of the Observatory. The Young Farmers Association of Portugal (AJAP) through its coverage throughout the national territory will contribute to the dissemination and support in the capture and transfer of knowledge to young farmers. The agricultural SMEs such as Ervital, Renato Rocha Unipessoal, Proventur Lda, Torre da Palma, Lda, Lafobio, Lda, Egocultum, Lda and PlantInPots Lda, representatives of the agricultural sector and identitary products of the Mediterranean diet (aromatic herbs, olive oil, vegetables, legumes) will contribute to validate the different tools created within the project, test the pilots developed and assist in the identification and correction of deviations to promote greater effectiveness in the implementation of the defined strategy.

In addition to the active partners of the consortium, the initiative also counts with the support of the 22 project leaders of the PNAES operations and with the transnational cooperation of two companies: Terra di EA - Agricultural Cooperative Society and Biosphere International will be the international entities that bring the necessary expertise to support the development of capacity building activities and the development of benchmarks.

The partnership of this project will promote a process of co-construction, with various types of actors - from young farmers and small farmers, SMEs, associations and academic, scientific and technological system and public and private technical services, contributing to strengthen the various sectoral interfaces and laying the foundation for the "Innovation Network" defined in Terra Futura - Innovation Agenda for Agriculture 20|30.

For more information about this project please contact:

If you are interested in these topics, stay tuned for upcoming activities that will result from this project and get involved! You can always review the previous edition of the F4S Academy webinars on Sustainable Food here.

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