Research and project coordinator Food: true costs, fair prices and affordability

foodwatch is looking for a Research and project coordinator on the topic of "Food: true costs, fair prices and affordability" in full-time.


You ensure the development and coordination of the foodwatch research and project on healthy food for all: true costs, fair prices and affordability under the supervision of the Executive Director of foodwatch France and in close collaboration with the international foodwatch team.

Where: Ideally in Paris or Brussels, but anywhere in the EU is possible – partly homeworking.
When: June 2023.
Contract: Indefinite contract, full time. Salary based on experience and location.

How to apply: Please send your application with CV + motivation letter in English to by May 31, 2023.

PDF of the application


foodwatch is the European campaign NGO for a sustainable and democratic food system. With offices in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussels and Vienna, we fight together for the right to safe and healthy food and against fraud and misleading practices of companies. We want laws that are not dictated by the agri-food industry lobby but benefit everyone and are consistently enforced by governments and authorities.
foodwatch is a citizen-based watchdog in the food sector. We are an independent counter-power, and do not accept any funding from governments, the food industry or the EU.


Coordination at international and national (France) level of the project True Costs, Fair Prices and Affordability of healthy food described in the annex:

  • Research into what policies and scientific analyses are available already; identify where there are knowledge gaps and commission research from external researchers as relevant; translate the findings from the scientific and economic sphere into a campaign organisation so that we can together develop a strategy for the organisation and subsequent campaigns.
  • Start with a focus on France, ensuring transferability of the results and keeping in mind the wide scope of the European Union, especially in other EU countries where foodwatch is present.
  • Ensure at international foodwatch level the vision and consistency of the project - context analysis, strategy and best practices exchanges.
  • Make sure we develop a clear short and mid-term strategy and propose campaign ideas that contribute to the overall project goal, in collaborative team work.
  • Coordinate the project with foodwatch team members, composed of dedicated colleagues in foodwatch offices across EU (France, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Brussels).
  • Ensure adequate and effective liaison and coordination with external relevant actors – economists, sociologists, researchers, experts, NGOs, etc.
  • Manage the project allocated budget and resources.


  • Academic background in economics or closely related field of study;
  • Fluency in English and French, both written and oral. Knowledge of German is an additional asset;
  • Experience in a similar or relevant role of at least 3 years, i.e. with international coordination of different stakeholders, in the charity, NGO or development sectors, or relevant agency, or in relevant research function;
  • Proven experience in scientific-based research, combined with a strategic thinking approach in how to put research into action;
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • Experience of supporting and/or undertaking campaigning, advocacy and activism, and a willingness and openness to developing skills in this area;
  • Experience of developing and managing campaigning project and implementation support, including budget support;
  • Excellent team collaboration, able to work in a flexible and supportive way. Communicative, able to moderate different perspectives and come to pragmatic solutions;
  • Ability to manage a varied workload effectively, including managing competing demands, prioritisation and maintaining high levels of accuracy, attention to detail and output;
  • A proactive attitude, curiosity and willingness to learn, and agile way of working.

What we offer

  • We offer you a highly varied job in a professional international organization that embraces and supports initiative and self-direction, and to which you can really contribute.
  • Our goal is to let you grow in a stimulating work environment of an international, action-oriented organization.
  • You will join a small, close-knit, flexible and hugely committed team.
  • You will work in a unique collaboration with (international) campaigners where you regularly meet online but also offline to discuss strategy.
  • The salary is competitive but depending on your knowledge, experience and your country of residence, please indicate your expectation for a full-time position in your country of residence and the date when you can start


Right to food: True Costs, fair prices, and affordability of safe and healthy food

Whenever costs and prices in the value chain get up either the margin of producers and retailers needs to sink, or consumers must pay more for food. Any changes along the food value chain are unpopular because too often those with less power on the market pay a higher share: small scale farmers, workers, vendors, and consumers.
We aim to offer an analysis of what needs to change to provide safe and healthy food affordable for all that neither harms people nor the environment, and to design a campaign to contribute to those necessary changes. We ask for:

  • True costs – all hidden costs along the food value chain should be incorporated into the price, revealing the “true value of food by making the benefits of affordable and healthy food visible and revealing the costs of damage to the environment and human health.”
  • Fair prices – all people working along the food value chain shall earn their fair share.
  • Affordability – everyone must have access to a safe and healthy diet that reflects also cultural traditions.

We’ll give an overview of the existing science off the three layers and the attempts to translate that into practice. We’ll make transparent how current regulation, tolls and tariffs and subsidies distort true costs, fair prices, and affordability. And we aim to explore possible and necessary legislation and taxation to reconcile the need to charge true costs, allow all workers a fair income and secure affordability, especially for poor people.

True costs

True costs consider all externalities along the food value chain, starting with the side effects of farming (GHG emissions, toxication, erosion, loss of biodiversity, etc) to negative effects on public health because of consuming unhealthy food (non-communicable diseases). 

Our first objective is to check on what has been researched in principle and what are recommended instruments to “to account for these hidden costs in food system and calls for bold actions to redefine food prices and the incentives for producing and consuming healthier and more sustainable diets” 6.

Fair prices

When prices are set the costs for goods (see true costs) and labour are one factor, beside taxes and tolls, which are the most transparent factors of prices. The opaquest factor is the price setting power of producers and retailers. With the war in Ukraine and the following high inflation rate the price setting power and especially the following high profits has become a matter of concern.

A fair share of surplus value along the food value chain is what we strive for. To suggest the right instruments in regulation to reach that we must shine a spotlight on the price setting power of producers and retailers and how to mitigate their superiority. 


To guarantee access to safe and healthy food for everyone it must be in the shelves for a price even poor people can afford. What is healthy for one person must not be healthy for the next and food is not only nutrition, but also content and cultural tradition, therefore different choices need to be satisfied.

We seek to assess different instruments (social benefits, tax reductions, coupons, etc) which shall provide healthy food and we will call out responsibilities where they stand: on producers, retailers and even more so on political decision makers, but not consumers. We also assess what constitutes not only healthy food, but gives a choice to follow traditions, and necessary and chosen diets (e.g., different food baskets)