Future in our Hands - Norway

Framtiden i vore hender
Renate Madsen
Evidence-based knowledge on the sustainability impacts of food production and consumption

Future in our Hands has been nominated for the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2021.

The Norwegian voluntary organisation Future in our Hands, which has around 40,000 members and 30 local teams, has been working since its foundation in 1974 to promote lifestyle changes and the fair distribution of world resources – with food (both consumption and production) as its main theme.

Future in our Hands has devoted considerable resources to developing evidence-based knowledge on the sustainability implications of food production and consumption, as well as the changes needed in both food production and consumption to achieve a more sustainable food system. In this context, Future in our Hands has published several reports on sustainable food production.

Future in our Hands also puts a lot of effort into guiding both producers and consumers towards more sustainable food production and consumption, including tips for reducing food waste and for ‘green’ everyday food. The organisation also provides advice to the business community and politicians.

What is special about Future in our Hands is that they target both consumers and producers (both shops and food producers), showing how a sustainable food system means changing both consumption habits and production methods. They also distinguish themselves by being both constructive and critical. The work of Future in our Hands is of great relevance to Nordic co-operation, as advice and policy input is based on the social and environmental conditions prevailing in the Nordic countries. Future in Our Hands has therefore been nominated for the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2021.

About this year’s theme: Sustainable food systems

For food production to be considered sustainable, the food must be produced locally where possible, using environmentally sustainable methods. In agriculture, the emphasis is on recirculated plant nutrition and environmentally friendly farming practices that take into account greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration, biodiversity and good management of water resources. Those engaged in animal husbandry and fish farming accept an environmental responsibility and maintain high standards of animal welfare. Natural resources used for food, such as game, wild fish and other natural products, are exploited wisely.

When ingredients are processed into food products, as much as possible of their nutritional content is preserved. There is no waste of resources in the food industry, products are packaged in an energy-efficient way and the environmental impact of distribution is minimised. Companies and retailers offer customers sustainable alternatives, and minimise food waste through their own initiatives. The food that consumers buy is based on environmentally sustainable alternatives, such as vegetarian food adapted to the seasons. We eat as many calories as we need, no food goes to waste and organic waste is recycled.