Research project
36 | monthsETHI_LEG

Definition of an ethical legal model of sustainable food system relationships

Related toSpoke 01

Principal investigators
Irene Canfora

Other partecipantsLucia Scaffardi, Laura Pineschi, Antonio D'Aloia, Elena Carpanelli, Marco Inglese, Ludovica Di Lullo, Emanuela Maio, Maria Chiara Errigo, Maria Laura Grilli, Guglielmo Agolino, Elena Scalcon, Mario Mendillo, Luca Romanoo
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EventApr 26, 2024

Legal Issues for a Sustainable Agrifood Chain: the FLAN Conference 2024

Task involved

Task 1.1.3.

Impact assessment and evaluation of food policy: identification of European, national, and regional past and future food and tradepolicy scenarios affecting food environment sustainability (in connection with Spoke 7).

Project deliverables


Report on economic and legal impact evaluation of food policy scenarios on value chains at EU, National and regional level (M12)


Report on current legislative framework and approaches at regional, national, and supranational level (M24)


Report on stress test on sustainability of selected short and long-distance value chains and food environments (M36)

State of the art

The framework of the project is based on Agenda 2030 and EU Commission F2F strategy defining a sustainable food system. The NG EU funding stresses the relevance of a sustainable food system comprehensive of economic, social and environmental aspects. Furthermore, the EU Due Diligence Directive draft will complete aspects related to sustainable international production processing and trade.

Agri-food system is one of the economic sectors most affected by climate change, but it is also a significant contributor to it, with greenhouse gas emissions from the food supply chain (FSC).
The struggle against food loss and waste and the promotion of specific lifestyles in the food sector constitute actions towards the goal of global sustainability and combating climate change. The development of policies aimed at promoting certain lifestyles and food consumer habits seems to address food and environmental sustainability from a more comprehensive perspective, considering also the protection of individual and public health, as well as animal welfare.

Operation plan

To define an economic and legal model for ethical sustainable food system, promoting fair FSC and involving all the business operators:

  1. Definition of an Ethical agri-food Supply chain model improving social sustainability, rural areas and workers protection, promoting sustainable lifestyle, favouring innovative low environment impact products and reducing food loss and waste, enhancing the role of public administrations in green procurement.
  2. Analysis of food policy instruments, considering trade form local and international perspective, with the goal to identify the legal framework on food security in EU as well as supporting the development of environmental friendly trade models in a perspective of global food sustainability.
  3. Implementation of a model of technical and business activity including innovative techniques and fair nutrition labelling schemes, evaluating the role of the actors of the FSC in enhancing local products and biodiversity.

Expected results

  • Definition of a legal and economic framework of ethical FSC model.
  • Definition of targets and models for farmers and business operators implementing a sustainable agri-food system.
  • Definition of legal guidelines for contractual relationships for FSC operators and public authorities.
  • Evaluation of consumers’ response and efficiency of different “Front-of-Pack” labelling schemes.
  • Evaluation of trade policy and country taxes or subsidies contribution to reduction of pollution and virtual water content of imported agri-food products.
  • Report on the most significant and effective actions to combat food loss and waste at international, European and national level and development of draft rules to strengthen actions to combat food loss and waste in the Italian context
    development of policies (e.g. best practices, nudging actions), relating to education and raising awareness with regard to food sustainability. 
  • Proposals concerning the adoption of regulatory and/or administrative procedures aimed at promoting the adoption of food-sustainable lifestyles (e.g., environmental taxation; harmonized rules on sustainability labelling).
  • Suggestion of local regulations improving sustainability of public procurement.

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EventApr 26, 2024
Legal Issues for a Sustainable Agrifood Chain: the FLAN Conference 2024

Ethical legal model of sustainable food system relationships