Geography of Food Research Group

Sustainability in agriculture and food systems

The research group Geography of Food deals with local and global questions on the sustainability of agricultural and food systems. The aim is to optimise the ecological, social and economic impact of the whole value chain. Based on comprehensive evaluations and feasibility studies, the research group develops new, application-oriented solutions for a sustainable nutritional system. It thereby supports decision-makers from business, politics and non-profit organisations in implementing future-oriented strategies "from the field to the plate".

Our Competences

  • Feasibility and potential studies in agricultural production and procurement
  • Global suitability analyses for cultivated plants 
  • Agricultural diversification concepts
  • Transdisciplinary development of stakeholder platforms
  • Sustainability and resilience assessment of foodstuffs and their value chains
  • Value Chain Mapping/Structural analysis of value chains
  • Socio-economic analyses of human-society environmental systems
  • Scientainment and concepts for sustainable food cultures

Research interests

Sustainable production systems

Agricultural systems are based on the close link between society, the economy and the environment. The research group evaluates the impacts of different agricultural systems and their potential for sustainable development and resource conservation. The research group is working on new solutions for diversified and site-adapted agriculture, taking into account its multifunctionality.

Sustainable value chains

The entire food chain, from the field to consumption, has significant environmental and social impacts. The research group uses various tools and methods to analyse the value-added chains and evaluate their sustainability and resilience. This enables us to identify existing and future risks with regard to social and ecological hotspots as well as potential for increasing sustainability throughout the entire value-added chain.

Sustainable eating cultures

Increasing out-of-home food preparation and consumption and the increasing consumption of animal products are two major trends in the global food system. At the same time, food-related environmental pollution and health risks are increasing, including in Switzerland. Gastronomy and consumers are key players in the field of nutrition. The research group develops strategies and recommendations for a healthy and sustainable Swiss food culture and for more creativity and diversity on the plate.


Curious about designing sustainable food value chains? In this exciting free online course of the Geography of Food research group you will learn what sustainability means in the context of our global food system. Besides that you will learn how food value chains need to be designed to foster the Agenda 2030 for sustainable Development of the United Nations.




The research group Geography of Food is interdisciplinary and international. Here there is a list of the current partners.

zum FiBL
zum Verband Schweizer Gemüseproduzenten VSGP
zur Stiftung Mercator Schweiz
zu eaternity
zur Foodward Business Academy
zur Gebert Rüf Stiftung
zur Syngenta foundation for sustainable agriculture
zur Università degli studi di Udine
zur Khon Kaen University
zur University of Cape Town
zu Foodways Consulting
zur Bangalore University
zum ZHAW Institut für Umwelt und Natürliche Ressourcen