In Europe today there is an increasing lack of public confidence in the food supply despite the fact that our food is arguably safer and more accessible than ever before. EUFIC has published a handbook on “How to talk about food risk” to proactively communicate about food, reassure the public about its safety, restore consumers’ trust in the authorities charged with regulating it, and help people understand how to eat safely and healthily.

The fourth international conference of the Joint Programming Initiative “A Healthy Diet for a Healthy Life” (JPI HDHL) will take place on Friday the 1st December 2017 in Brussels (Belgium). The conference will bring together and stimulate the dialogue between stakeholders in the area of food, nutrition and health including policy makers, funders, scientists, health care professionals, industry and NGO’s. During the conference, an overview of the achievements and future objectives of the JPI HDHL, including the running Joint Actions, will be presented.

Finland has published a government report on food policy. The aim of the food policy is to promote the population’s nutritional status and well-being through food. Food policy covers a broad range of issues concerning the production, processing, distribution and consumption of food. The national economy, public health and the well-being of the environment are all closely connected to food policy decisions.

Increasing harmonisation and standardisation of data in nutrition research is an important next step to stimulate data sharing and open science. This was one of the main outcomes of the JPI HDHL workshop organised in February 2017 about data sharing and data stewardship. During the workshop, the role of the JPI HDHL, the needs and gaps of the field and the next steps that JPI HDHL could take were discussed.

EuroFIR, the European Food Information Resource platform will held its annual Food Forum and Symposium on 5-6th April 2017 in Brussels. The Food Forum is an event combining association, project meetings and a Symposium opened to all. It is a great opportunity to meet and network with EuroFIR members and others international researchers, dietitians, nutritionists, SMEs, health and food public authorities, and exchange ideas on food and research in Europe and worldwide.

JPI HDHL welcomes two new members in the Scientific Advisory Board. In pillar 1 Prof. Wim Verbecke from Ghent University in Belgium and in pillar 2 Prof. Marie Alminger from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.

Prof. Wim Verbecke’s research is about food consumer science, stakeholder and consumer decision-making, perception and acceptance of production technologies and food products or product concepts.

Prof. Marie Alminger’s research interests include the development of new solutions for sustainable production of healthy and safe food in order to investigate how food production systems should be developed for more resource efficient chains and more competitive production of food. We are happy to have them on board and we are looking forward to working with them.

Ensuring Food and Nutrition Security is a complex issue, requiring an integrated food systems perspective. Food and Nutrition Security bridges a number of Societal Challenges; it encompasses the entire food system (land and sea) from farm to fork. FACCE-JPI, JPI HDHL and JPI Oceans have identified different aspects of this challenge and are now coming together to coordinate efforts in this area and have published a paper that describes the scope of the proposed joint research programme.

It is well known that the health, environmental, economic, and societal costs will be substantial if we do not change our course of action when it comes to the food system and the underlying challenge of Food and Nutrition Security. Coordination is needed to bring together different research domains and national and international research investments and to ensure involvement of key actors (consumers, primary producers, industry etc.) to stimulate innovation and implementation. Strong stakeholder involvement in JPIs will facilitate knowledge flow from research towards practice. The coordination between FACCE-JPI, JPI Oceans and JPI HDHL aims to define a research programme to address the challenge of Food and Nutrition Security.

The research is expected to contribute to the implementation of the European Commission’s FOOD 2030 initiative, but also to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, by connecting research communities along the entire food value chain to propose adapted, acceptable and sustainable solutions to achieving food and nutrition security. It will promote the building of lasting transdisciplinary coordination across a range of fields. The research to be undertaken will help to provide solutions for providing sustainable and resilient food systems for nutritious food from land and sea to feed an ever-changing world. Click here to read the paper FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY: A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY INTEGRATIVE FOOD SYSTEM APPROACH which has been adopted by the governing boards of FACCE-JPI, JPI Oceans and JPI HDHL.

The chair of the JPI HDHL Management Board, Pamela Byrne, has been interviewed by Science Impact about the work and mission of JPI HDHL and the intrinsic value of joint programming to tackle societal challenges related to nutrition and health. Many European and other governments struggle with both the societal and economic consequences of the alarming rise in diet-related chronic diseases. Research can play a key role in working towards solutions though mission-orientated research, networks, tools and expertise is needed to improve national and international collaboration and efficiency of research investments.

Science Impact publishes the Impact series of research publications. The publications help research stakeholders to access relevant information on current and future research projects, policy and trends impacting their work in a clear, accessible and concise content format. The JPI HDHL article is published In the February 2017 edition. It provides a brief overview of the background of the JPI and the societal challenge JPI HDHL addresses as well as some first results and future plans and activities

In the light of the Food 2030 Policy Framework the EC organised a workshop on Smart Personalized Nutrition in June 2016. A report about the results of this workshop, including the way forward for Research and Innovation and the Food 2030 Policy Framework, has recently been published. Pamela Byrne, chair of JPI HDHL, contributed to the workshop and the published report

As part of its working programme for 2017, the Commission will take forward work and consult widely on simplification and modernisation of the CAP to maximise its contribution to the Commission's ten priorities and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This will focus on specific policy priorities for the future and the starting point will be a well-founded assessment of the performance of the current policy.