Citizens' advice on sustainable food

06. November 2022
Marco Verch / Flickr

How we eat does not only influence our own well-being and health. The origin and production of food also have a variety of effects on the environment and society. The Federal Environment Ministry and the Federal Environment Agency in Germany have therefore invited randomly selected citizens from all over the country to take part in a participation process. Together with experts, the participants will develop proposals for measures to achieve a "food transition".

From 13 to 15 May 2022, a citizens' workshop was held in Kassel with 60 randomly selected citizens from all over Germany. Through discussions in small groups and exchange with experts, various measures for a nutritional transition were developed.

Focus on plant products

The thematic focus was on measures that can increase the consumption of plant-based products. "Shaping more plant-based diets is a decisive lever for a sustainable nutritional transition," it says on the website of the Federal Environment Ministry.

In the second half of 2022, 15 participants of the citizens' workshop tested the measures they have developed in their own everyday lives. The aim was to find out how the measures can be implemented in everyday life and how the people who implement them feel.

Workshop in early 2023

A workshop on the proposed measures was held from 27 - 29 January 2023. Twenty-five people from the citizens' workshop took part. Here, the final proposals for measures were developed with the help of expert knowledge. Based on the results of the first citizens' workshop and the experience and impressions gained from the trial phase, these proposed measures will be further developed and decided upon in a citizens' advisory council.

Experts from nutrition science and practice will then examine the recommendations of the council with regard to their feasibility and effectiveness. In addition, representatives of social groups, such as young people and people with a migration background, who are often underrepresented in political debates, will be specifically invited and consulted.

Review of measures

In a subsequent review phase, 20 citizens will go through a final workshop together with experts. In addition to reviewing the measures, this will also clarify which measures are particularly feasible and effective.

The citizens' workshop will be concluded with a final event at the end of 2023. 40 participants from the first citizens' workshop as well as representatives from politics, science and civil society will discuss measures to promote a sustainable, plant-based diet. In addition, the proposals for measures developed by the citizens' workshop will be handed over to the Federal Ministry for the Environment.

Participation and nutrition experts

The participation process on sustainable nutrition was commissioned to the participation company ifok together with NAHhaft e.V., the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW) and the Goethe University Frankfurt am Main.

Read more: Citizens' advisory Council "Sustainable Food"