SCORAI has been working since Summer 2023 on a prestigious Belmont Forum award for a project entitled “Co-creating Sustainable Food Supply Chains” (Co-SFSC). The project involves researchers and practitioners who will work to assess and transform some aspects of sustainability in their local supply chains. The local work is being conducted by five teams across the globe: Germany, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and Turkey. The objective is to involve practitioners in the project of science and transformation of local food contexts.

In June 2024, nine members of the Co-SFSC research team convened at the SRI Congress in Helsinki to discuss the progress with the project thus far, and to share with other teams funded by the Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (SSCP) Belmont Forum grant.

In one session, the Co-SFSC team presented our project alongside other projects funded under this grant.  It was an interesting opportunity for exchange and learning about the work of the different SSCP projects.

In another session, a workshop on “Sustainability assessment with stakeholders: How can transdisciplinary and transformative research on sustainable consumption and production systems (SSCP) be conceptualised and carried out in practice?”, initiated by CO-SFSC and organised in collaboration with three of the other Belmont Forum SSCP projects, the Co-SFSC team engaged in lively discussions with other projects on the whys and hows of transdisciplinary sustainability assessment.

It was amazing how many different aspects the topic has. For example, we discussed how controversial stakeholders and their role in a transformative project and in the assessment of sustainability can be.

Sandra Schmidt, Supply Chain Manager of the initiative FoodCircle in Germany and practice partner in CO-SFSC, gave an input on the high value of sustainability assessment for food system actors, as in potentially for decision support and communication towards consumers. She emphasized that, for example, farmers or cooks do not usually have the capacity to do this themselves and need support from research, and that such assessments can have a strong influence on consumer choices.

In the session, the researchers made the decision to organize a joint workshop again at SRI 2025 in Chicago: the joint SRI workshop of the Belmont Forum SSCP projects SUPERSUSTAIN, Circularity3, Just Grow and Co-creation of sustainable food supply chains CO-SFSC was a highly interactive, interesting and enjoyable event.