How to monitor the progress towards a circular food economy?
S. Van Schoubroeck, V. Vermeyen, L. Alaerts, K. Van Acker, S. Van Passel
Within the food sector, the implementation of a circular economy (CE) can reduce resource consumption and emissions to the environment by moving away from a linear and unsustainable system. This necessitates a clear vision on what circularity for food means, which will provide a much-needed foundation to develop a monitoring tool that reveals insights into the progress being made towards a CE, and to expose the bottlenecks and opportunities. This research study contributes to the development of a shared vision for circularity within the food system, and defines and prioritizes a set of indicator themes to monitor a circular food economy (CFE). A two-round Delphi study was performed, including a brainstorming session with experts and the construction of a consensus ranking of indicator themes, considering the production and processing and the consumption stage. The Delphi results provide a shared vision on a CFE, and a blueprint for researchers and policy-makers on its monitoring, which will stimulate the progression from a linear to a circular system.