Foodprint Debate // Sustainability Week

— Short description —

Debate on the environmental impact of food ????.

Bringing together scientific knowledge and insights from sectoral organizations ?.

Entrance is free but registration is required
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— More details —

More than ever, tackling climate change proves a central societal issue. So far however, public debate mainly focussed on mobility reform, emission reduction and behavioral changes in transportation and energy use. The Foodprint Debate therefore wishes to shed a light on another crucial, yet improvable, aspect of today’s society: the food sector.

In moving from farms and fields to forks, food steadily passes through different phases in the food production chain. Each of these phases might impact the environment to varying degrees (e.g. because of the use of chemicals, exploitation of farmers in developing countries, extensive water use, deforestation, long-distrance transportation, waste, …).

In response, multiple and divers approaches to food production developed as to provide a solution to the aforementioned externalities (e.g. organic farming, localism or short chain food supply, cultivated meat, vegetarianism, veganism, etc.). But how can we actually measure the environmental impact of food? Which aspects of food production should we look at when we want to make a sustainable choice?

All things considered, is it better to eat a steak coming from our own countryside than an avocado produced in Spain? Could technology, which allows to produce cultivated meat, solve food sustainability issues? Shouldn’t food security be more of a priority than food sustainability? Do both have to be mutually exclusive or could they be complementary? It is about these questions that the Foodprint debate aims to raise awareness.

Dr. Gerard Govers, KU Leuven’s Vice rector for Science, Engeneering and Technology, will officially kick off the event with an opening statement.

The debate will continue with an introduction by Dr. Tessa Avermaete, researcher at the Sustainable Food Economies Research Group (SFERE) from the KU Leuven Division of Bio Economics. Dr. Avermaete will provide us with scientific facts and figures concerning ‘foodprints’.

Subsequently there will be a debate bringing together actors from all over Belgium who are involved in the food production chain. To offer a rich variety in perspectives, we included the following organizations and speakers:

– Daniel Lips, director of ALMA KU Leuven (, Leuven student restaurant.
– Elodie d’Halluweyn, vice president of Végétik (, a Francophone Belgian association that aims to inform citizens about the ecological consequences caused by the overconsumption of animal products.
– Jelle Goosens, the communication officer of Rikolto – Vredeseilanden ( that focuses on the North/South relations in the food sector.
– Professor Stefaan De Smet on behalf of Bamst (, a network of researchers who stimulate the debate on meat science.
– Eric Claeys, director of Algemeen Boerensyndicaat ( that defends the rights of farmers and market gardeners as trade union.
– La Coopérative Ardente ( offering an online platform to sell local products as Liège based cooperative will be presented by Jean-Paul Boone. Jean-Paul is a member of the Board of Directors.
– Jannes Maes, president of CEJA Young Farmers ( and member of Groene Kring ( which offers a forum for dialogue between young farmers and European decision makers.

Each of these stakeholders will provide their vision on a more sustainable way of eating – and ultimately living.

Finally, he audience will also have an opportunity to share their thoughts through a Q&A session. The debate will be moderated prof. dr. Katja Biedenkopf.

Whilst attending the event is completely free, we kindly ask you to register as seats in the auditorium are limited. Do not hesitate to register via first come, first served.


09 May 2019


17:00 - 19:30


Aula Jean Monnet (AP. 01.30), Parkstraat 51
Aula Jean Monnet (AP. 01.30), Parkstraat 51