SUSTEATABLE - The sustainability of the Luxembourgish food system

Background

Luxembourg is currently facing many environmental problems: pollution of drinking water resources by nutrient inputs and pesticides from agricultural activities, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and degradation, and climate change. These threats to ecosystems and the loss of natural resources are of course not unique to Luxembourg, but are mirroring the challenges that the food and agriculture sector is facing on a global scale. The food and agriculture sector is as much a victim as also a driver of these problems, and changes in the farming practices are needed in order to face them and ensure food security for future generations. Apart from production practices, the sustainability of the food and agriculture sector is also influenced by consumers and their food choices, by creating demand for certain food groups or certain production practices.

Objectives

The aim of this project is therefore:

• to assess holistically the current sustainability level of the Luxembourgish agriculture sector,

• to identify necessary changes to dietary patterns and production practices, 

• to develop differentiated strategies for the development of sustainable food systems in Luxembourg.

The project will assess the sustainability of the Luxembourgish food system on two levels: the farm-level and the food system-level.

The farm-level

For the farm-level sustainability assessment, the project analyses farming practices and their respective sustainability implications according to the FAO SAFA Guidelines (Guidelines for the Sustainability Assessment of the Food and Agriculture Systems) using the SMART (Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment RouTine)-Farm. Through this assessment, aspects of the agriculture sector (farm type, practices, etc.) can be identified that have positive or negative impacts on the sustainability of the farm.

The food system-level

These identified trade-offs and synergies can then be used in the food system-level sustainability assessment for Luxembourg. Here, the mass-flow model of the agriculture and food sector (SOL), developed by FiBL and the FAO, will be employed to analyse the environmental implications of dietary patterns and food production systems. The food system-level sustainability assessment will allow the development of scenarios of sustainable food systems for Luxembourg. Together, the results from these two levels of sustainability assessments will be synthesised and used to formulate target-group specific recommendations for the development of sustainable food systems.