Droit et changement social
logo-Back to homepage

Choisissez une langue

- ComMEATted Work Packages -

Work Package 1 - WP1: COORDINATION (Leader: DCS/Nantes) 

Elisabeth Lambert, in her capacity as the leader of the consortium, will organise the kick-off-meeting in Nantes (Task 1) (M4) and then regular workshops/meetings with partners for the need of coordination between WPs 2 & 3 & 4; to present and discuss first results and allocate feedback from academics and private actors; to ensure regular progress, respect of deadlines, the adoption of adjustments required and plan all the scientific, knowledge transfer and dissemination activities; and allow comparative results to be translated to the public and stakeholders at the end of the project. E. Lambert has a long and strong expertise in leading consortiums, in working in pluri/inter/ and transdisciplinarity at European and international levels. Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of Strasbourg, she has researched the right to healthy and sustainable food in Europe from a comparative approach. 

An advisory board will be set up after the Kick off meeting.

As requested, the Consortium agreement, including the IPR management plan, will be provided to JPI (Task 3) (M1-M6). Moreover, an intermediary report (with the updated Data Management Plan) and a final report will be sent to JPI (Task 4) (M18, M36).


Work Package 2 - WP2: EXPLORING CULTURE (Leader: Norwegian Partner)

1 - Context and issues

As many actors are equipped with the capacity to transform the national and European food landscapes, WP2 aims at mapping stakeholders, their narratives, evolutions and interactions around alternative-to-meat products in the five countries to explore ideology and identity formation around meat reducing practices, ideas regarding naturalness, and healthiness of food; analyse meat concepts and their ontological fluidity. Its ambition is to answer the following questions: what is the nature of societal debates around alternative-to-meat products? How are these debates developing at national and European scales? How are issues such as climate change, human health, animal welfare used? Which are the excluded parties? Which values, incentives and barriers are being considered? What are the qualifications produced by all stakeholders: food industry professionals, NGOs, consumer associations, scientists, religious and ethical communities, the Media, the agricultural sector? On what representations of demand are these qualifications constructed? How do these qualifications frame consumer market engagement with protein alternatives? What role do these discourses play? Are they instruments to impact markets or rather vehicles for change? What nutritional science is used and how it is interpreted/translated? 

WP2 is closely linked to WP 3 & 4: actually, it will be necessary to ultimately analyse how the multiple qualifications of these new products once publicised, are taken up by policy-makers and consumers reappropriated/expanded/reworked, or on the contrary set aside in their practices and arguments? It is also relevant to consider that consumption is largely framed by the mechanisms of market devices intermediation, such as design, packaging, and merchandising (Barrey et al., 2000). Moreover, researchers have observed a “recency negativity” bias in the evaluation of novel food products which is based on psychological mechanisms and not on objective qualities of the food (Florack et al., 2021; Inbar et al., 2020). We hypothesise that narrative frameworks, together with such psychological biases, contribute to perceptions of and demands for products in the marketplace, and that the perceptions and demands are shaped by marketing engineering, to which we will pay particular attention. 

2 - Tasks

Task 1 / Identification of the stakeholders (Food supply chain actors, agricultural sector, scientists, Media, consumers’ associations, religious and ethical communities) in each country. Documentary (Europress) research and literature review. (M 1-4)

Task 2 / Interviews (incl. data collection) with around 15 to 30 members (number depending on the size of the country) among our selected stakeholders (agricultural sector, scientists, consumer associations, food industry, social media, religious and ethical communities). (M 5-10)

Task 3 / Analysing how actors qualify, define and problematise alternative meat products, and explore interactions they make with others (or on the contrary connections they break) to make their case. Documentary and qualitative investigation. (M 8-14)

Task 4 / Exploring how nutritional science is being “used” and taken by stakeholders. (M12-M16)

Task 5 / Drawing up an inventory of the problems as they are formulated and discussed by stakeholders. The aim is to understand disconnects between the narratives. Finding out options proposed by each stakeholder which open up new alliances and solutions. (M 14-18)

Task 6 / Intermediary Report (to be available to WPs 3 & 4) (M 14); Synthesis Report at domestic level (to be sent to WP5) (M20); Academic publications and papers at Conferences (M20-M36)

3 - Methodology

The first part will consist of a large inventory of the issues relating to the consumption and production of alternative meat products, from a documentary corpus (generalist press articles, television reports and debates, reports and studies, social networks, etc.) taken from the Europress indexing platform. This documentary work will be supplemented by around fifteen to thirty interviews in each country with professional actors. 

Particular attention will be paid to discourses elaborated by the agricultural sector (done by our colleague Luc Bodiguel in DCS): the Common Agricultural Policy may influence farmers' choices (e.g. development and subsidy of legumes or multiplication of environmental requirements on breeding practices).

Work Package 3 - WP3: ADAPTING REGULATION (Leader: DCS/Nantes)

1 - Context And issues

The objective of European regulation has always been to reconcile the free circulation of foodstuffs (international trade), economic liberty, and the protection of consumers’ health. Insects and cell-based meat are considered under EU law as “novel foods”, defined as “any food that was not used for human consumption to a significant degree within the Union before 15 May 1997”. 

Three conditions need to be met in order to allow novel foods on the EU market: “a) the food does not, on the basis of the scientific evidence available, pose a safety risk to human health; b) the food’s intended use does not mislead the consumer, especially when the food is intended to replace another food and there is a significant change in the nutritional value; c) where the food is intended to replace another food, it does not differ from that food in such a way that its normal consumption would be nutritionally disadvantageous for the consumer”. These conditions are crucial as the Industry has bet on the fact that, for instance cell-based meat is to replace conventional meat. 

WP3 will address the following RQ: How do existing regulations affect stakeholders and production, commercialisation and consumption of insects, cell-based meat and plant-based protein? How should these products be legally named? Do these regulations offer enough protection to guarantee consumers’ health protection? Would legislative changes be required in order to better consider the environmental and ethical impacts of alternatives to conventional meat and if so, how? How should consumers be informed to ensure transition of current regimes with a substitution effect? 

2 - Methodology

As to methods, the traditional desk-research approach will be combined with semi-structured interviews. Here we need to collect and rigorously analyse all documents produced by policy-makers, think-tanks, entities in charge of doing consultation for governments, European institutions, as well as the legislative, executive and the judiciary in each domestic context (soft-law and legally binding documents, without omitting preparatory works). Moreover, interviews with approximately 10-20 stakeholders (in each country) in the field of governance and regulation (incl. labelling) will be conducted and analysed with the BNIM method. A workshop (M18) will be organised to present results. 

3 - Tasks

Task 1 / Collect all rules, preparatory works, documents and identify key actors; Prepare a review of the state of the art (M1-M8)

Task 2 /
Conduct and analyse approx. 10-20 interviews (depending on the size of the country) (M9-M16)

Task 3 /
Analysis of legal documents on the following issues: legal names, labels, use of scientific data by policy-makers and the legal sector; consequences of current regulation on Novel Food regarding the protection of human health, animal welfare and the environment (M12-M18)

Task 4 /
Workshop presenting results (M18) and transmission of the Intermediary report to WP4 (M19)

Task 5
/ Synthesis report at domestic level (M24)

Task 6
/ Write and publish academic articles/book chapters; communicate in public events (M24-M36)

Task 7
/ Updating previous data and preparing concept notes for stakeholders: suggest how regulations need to be implemented and/or to evolve. Identify inconsistencies, gaps and weaknesses (M34-M36)

Work Package 4 - WP4: IDENTIFYING DETERMINANTS OF CONSUMER PREFERENCES (Leaders: Irish & Austrian Partners)

1 - Context and issues

Building upon results obtained from WPs 2 and 3, WP4 materialises these actors' issues in consumption situations. In addition, WP4 studies the impact of psychological biases in the perception of novel food alternatives. The overall aim is to identify and explore the impact of existing narratives, beliefs and psychological biases on food options and labels, and consumers’ openness to alternative proteins. To this end, it focuses on how discourses, labels and connected devices shape consumers’ decision-making process. Actually, consumers make choices while being equipped with mediations that participate in presenting, representing and qualifying (Barrey et al., 2000; Laurent & Mallard, 2020) those products, and so attribute to the recipient actors provisions that are supposed to capture (Cochoy, 2004) their attention. 

What we propose here is different from what has been done before as it goes beyond analysing consumers' attitudes in terms of sight, touch, smell and taste “to also include broader personal and political convictions, uncertainties, and ambivalences about the societal impact” (Stephens et al., 2018) of those novel foods, also taking into account the effects of basic psychological mechanisms that produce aversions towards novel food developments (on which our Austrian colleagues are experts) (Florack et al., 2021; Inbar et al., 2020). In order to research consumer choice dynamics, WP4 encapsulates lessons learnt from (WP2), (WP3) and basic psychological processes. By deepening the work initiated in particular by Sara Korzen (Korzen & Lassen, 2010), it is a matter of assessing people's inclination to consume the products concerned; of identifying the variables on which this adoption depends; and of understanding the positive or negative impacts of this adoption in terms of reducing and/or replacing conventional meat consumption. 

WP 4 will address the following questions: what are the psychological mechanisms and sources of information that influence consumers’ attitudes towards the three selected types of meat replacements? To what extent do narratives and discourses vehiculated by stakeholders (WP2) and rules adopted by policy-makers and legal experts (WP3) impact them? Which factors (values, beliefs, food regime: vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, pescatarian, meat eaters, age, family background…, food processing; terminology) make a difference? Will those products have a “substitution effect” (as assumed by the food industry) or more an “addition effect” in the long term? How do consumers respond to labelling, legal names, and other relevant aspects of food packaging? How do they react to processed or ultra-processed food? 

2 - Tasks

Task 1 / Methodology development - To develop a common methodology to be implemented in full or in part across countries, led by the Irish partner. Milestone: Protocols documented (M1-M4) (adjustments if needed). In addition, the team from Austria will start with the development of the survey measures and the experimental paradigms. These will be later adjusted based on the results of WP2 and 3.

Task 2 / Literature review - Review the academic lit. to identify theories and assess empirical research relating to values, beliefs and norms that influence consumers as they transition to more healthy, ethical and sustainable diets. Databases such NexusLexus or Proquest will be used for this (M1-M12).

Task 3 / Translating dominant media narratives from WP2 - Presentation of WP2’s results (Workshop M13) to WP4 researchers, resulting in the production of vignettes for Task 4 (M13-M16)

Task 4 / Qualitative consumer research
led by the Irish partner Conversations with consumers at home. (M16-M24)

Task 5 / Consumer research Audit
conducted by the Austrian partner (M7-M12) Results presented during workshop (M13)

Task 6 / Quantitative consumer research
- led by the Austrian Partner (M4-M26)

Task 7 / Synthesis
- Workshop (M24) to discuss results with stakeholders, identifying how such new foods, ingredients and technologies could become part of consumers’ everyday lives, identifying opportunities to break a habit or change a belief. Synthesis report (M26)

3 - Methodology

The methodology will combine quantitative and qualitative approaches. Regarding the qualitative approach, using ethnographic-inspired approaches and situated in the homes of individuals (under the leadership of our Irish partner), conversations around the relevant products in their kitchen will develop so as to understand existing values, beliefs and habits. This will progress to presenting vignettes to establish the extent to which these could change and existing foods replaced as a result of new foods, ingredients and technologies.
A consumer research audit on alternative protein products that are available on the European market will be conducted by our Austrian Partner.  Moreover, the Austrian partner will design a quantitative survey and conduct a study in each country using providers of online panels. The samples will be representative of the respective population according to important characteristics of consumers (e.g., age, gender, beliefs). The objective of the survey is to study influences on the perception of plant-based proteins, cell-based meat, and insects.  

Work Package 5 - WP5: FACILITATING TRANSITION (DCS/Nantes and Irish Partner)

1 - Context and issues

The objective of WP5 at this stage is twofold : to discover national and European determinants that impact or prevent the dietary shift; to suggest new concepts, regulatory tools and governance measures for the successful transition of food regimes with meat replacements in the long term. Thus, the main questions covered by WP5 are: which lessons (differences, common aspects) can be learned as to incentives for and barriers against shifting diets towards meat-alternatives across the five countries? What are the results (differences and common factors) regarding cross analysis of the three alternatives to conventional meat? Which recommendations to be made at domestic and European levels? Which governance to prepare and succeed with a dietary shift? 

2 - Tasks

Task 1 / Comparison of results obtained from WP2 (M20-M23)

Task 2 /
Comparison of results obtained from WP3 (M24-M26)

Task 3 /
Comparison of results got from WP4 (M 26-M28)

Task 4 /
Workshop to compare results (transnational and for each alternative protein) (M28)




As to communication and dissemination of our activities and results: 

DCS/Nantes will ensure communication and dissemination of our research activities to the academic community (in conformity with open access requirements), public at large and stakeholders in the food system at domestic and European levels. Throughout the project duration, our aim is to provide research oriented to stakeholders and end-users. 

Task 1 / Website: dissemination to all stakeholders and the public at large (M6-M36)

Task 2 / Continuously Communication on social media (twitter/LinkedIn) about the activities led by the consortium (M2-M36), print Media articles (the Conversation…) (M24-M36), and videos (M6-M36)

Task 3 / Academic Publications: Regular articles in peer-reviewed journals (M15-M36); Submitting at least one special issue (M24-M36); Preparing one collective book (M32-M36)

Task 4 / Transfer of know-how to all stakeholders at domestic and European levels:
Preparation of Concept Notes and Recommendations at domestic and European levels (incl. for each category of protein alternatives) (M28-M36); Workshop with researchers and stakeholders (M32) to discuss recommendations; Policy briefs (M32-M36)

Task 5 / Collaboration with national art schools
to design logos/visuals promoting meat replacements (M9-M33); that will be presented during the final event.

Task 6 / Academic Events: Intermediary Workshop in Dublin (M20); Final Symposium (M36)

Mis à jour le 07 May 2024.