The project “Social Innovation in Food Provision: Pathways to Sustainable Production and Consumption” (SINFO) funded by the Latvian Council of Science (2018-2021) is based on a combination of two major strands of research - innovation studies and food studies. The main objectives of the project are (i) to improve scientific understanding of social innovation in food provision, and (ii) to explore conditions, frameworks and scenarios for enabling practical innovations towards sustainable food production and consumption in Latvia.

The project raises three research questions: (i) what is the scope, diversity and dynamics of social innovation in food provision; (ii) what are the outcomes of social innovation; (iii) what is the relation between social innovation and governance in food provision. The project will advance the state of the art by examining how social innovations taking place in various sectors of the food system can be upscaled through better alignment with the principles and practices of participatory governance.

The project resonates with three national research priorities (Culture of knowledge and innovations for economic sustainability; Public health; Research and sustainable use of local natural resources for the development of a knowledge-based bioeconomy).

The project is organised in six work packages, including conceptual typology, drivers of change towards sustainable production and consumption, pathways towards sustainable food provision, enabling frameworks, and communication and dissemination. In order to achieve the objectives, the project proposes a mix of research methods, including case studies, interviews, media analysis, surveys, policy analysis, scenario development, stakeholder engagement and consultation.

Work on the project commenced on 31 August 2018. The project will be carried out, drawing on extensive research experience gained in EU FP7 and H2020 projects. The results will be disseminated in international academic journal publications, scientific conferences and through materials aimed at food system stakeholders, policymakers and the general public.