Data4Food2030 aims to engage with stakeholders and understand their perspectives to maximise the project’s impact and has spent the past several months focusing on the inclusiveness of the data economy or how to enable a data economy for food systems, in which all people can participate and equally benefit. Considering the social complexity of contemporary food systems and to grasp who “the people” are, we have started by identifying key stakeholder groups in food systems. These involve:
We also bore in mind that each of these stakeholder groups can include marginalised groups and individuals who require a particular attention. To better understand interests and concerns that each stakeholder group has in the context of unfolding data economy, the project partners from Baltic Studies Centre, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Wageningen University, and Warsaw University of Life Sciences conducted 21 interviews with stakeholder groups’ representatives.
For many interviewees, the term “data economy” was quite new. Nevertheless, all stakeholders had relevant experience to share, as they appeared to be constantly involved with data. Often, the stakeholders were participating in the data economy for food systems in multiple data roles – as data owners, data holders, data intermediaries, data users etc. – and could share their data experience from different perspectives. The interviews confirmed that data permeates food systems, and food systems’ governance and sustainability are closely linked to data governance, including such topics as data rights, transparency in data usage, control over data and data usage, etc.
The interviewees shared the key opportunities and challenges that the food system stakeholders represent experience in the data economy context. While the interview analysis is still in progress, here are some key insights we have outlined:
While it was recognised that each food system stakeholder has responsibility and a role to play in building a fair data economy, it was often pointed out that the data regulatory framework can be improved.To gain further insights and deepen our understanding of stakeholders’ experience in data economy in real-life contexts, in April and May we are organising stakeholder discussions in four project partner countries – Belgium, Latvia, the Netherlands, and Poland.
We thank all the respondents for participating in the study and sharing their views and experiences.
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