Tessa Avermaete obtained a master at the Faculty of Bio-Engineering (KU Leuven). Her master thesis dealt with the incoherence between the CAP and the European trade policy towards developing countries with respect to beef and sugar. She holds a PhD at the University of Ghent (2004), where she investigated innovation in European food SMEs. In the period 2006-2013, she worked at the KHLeuven (University College Leuven), as project coordinator for the department of Health and Technology. In 2013, she joined the division of bio-economics. She is project manager of TRANSMANGO and SUFISA. She is member of the EIP focus group on new entrants in farming and the metaforum workgroup on food security and food production.
Food production and food security increasingly raise questions, both at the local and at the global level. Experts in various disciplines formulate three challenges for the 21st century: shortage of natural resources, environmental impact of food production, and food security. Shall we succeed in feeding the growing population? Will everyone have access to sufficient food? Will the increase of food production lead to deforestation and put further pressure on biodiversity?
Since 2014, an academic working group at the University of Leuven, called Metaforum Group, developed over the period of 2 years a balanced interdisciplinary vision on food production and food security. In 2017, this vision resulted in a book for the public which aims to contribute to the overall debate on food production and food consumption in Flanders.
The book also facilitated students at the faculty of Bio-Engineering to think about global and local food issues. Bachelor students agronomy wrote their own opinion about the various chapters tackled in the book. Furthermore, a group of bachelor students conducted a research in secondary school to measure their awareness on food and nutrition security, which resulted in two videos.