Sustainable Food Systems Framework

Institute of Food Science and Technology

The Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST) is the leading qualifying body for food professionals in Europe and the only professional body in the UK concerned with all aspects of food science and technology. 3Keel were commissioned by IFST to develop a 'food sustainability framework' that identifies key opportunities for the Institute to expand its influence on food sustainability. 

The research identified six themes of particular relevance to IFST (highlighted on the figure above):

  1. Resource risks and pressures: The food system is dependent on the natural environment and at the same time is causing significant environmental impacts 
  2. Healthy sustainable diets: There is a need to deliver good human and environmental health outcomes from the food system at the same time 
  3. Circular economy and sustainable manufacturing: The current economic model of “take-produce-consume-discard” is unsustainable 
  4. Novel production systems and ingredients: There are opportunities for developing new farming and manufacturing technologies to deliver sustainable nutrition 
  5. Decent work and equitable trade: The livelihoods and working conditions of the 1+ billion people who work in the food system need to be improved 
  6. Transparency, traceability and trust: New software and data can help drive improvements in food system sustainability and strengthen consumer trust

We concluded that IFST can play an important role in the development of a more sustainable food system. Based on this review we developed three general recommendations for future IFST activity, as well as 18 specific recommendations under the six food system themes. The recommendations were designed to generally support IFST’s mission to facilitate the development and sharing of knowledge, support professional development, represent the industry on science matters and encourage new entrants into the sector. 

The report is being used to encourage the development of new partnerships and activities.

Project lead

Richard Sheane

"IFST is committed to working with interested partners to help speed progress in key areas, or to bring focus to needs that may be currently overlooked. This report is the first step in that process, a framework to identify where IFST can and should get involved, to maximise our impact in this broad endeavour." 

David Gregory, IFST President