Projects at the Geography of Food Research Group
CONSUS – Spatial decision support tool for strategic agricultural planning
CONSUS is a geographic information system (GIS) tool for the efficient and strategic planning of production and procurement in the agricultural market. It assesses the suitability of locations for specific agricultural products worldwide on the basis of geographical information pertaining to climate and soil as well as socio-economic and political criteria.
Project partner: Geoinformatics Research Group
Project financing: Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture SFSA
Duration: 2014 - 2021
Further information: Project page
NOVANIMAL - Innovations for a future-oriented consumption and animal production
People around the world are consuming increasing amounts of meat and dairy products; pressures on the environment and diet-related health risks are on the rise. The Swiss food culture is also characterised by dairy products and meat. The project looks for innovations along the value chains to reduce the undesirable consequences of the production and consumption of animal foodstuffs. In collaboration with various partners, strategies and recommendations for a healthy and sustainable Swiss food culture and for more creativity and diversity on the plate will be developed.
Project partners: EBPI Institut für Epidemiologie, Biostatistik und Prävention, FiBL Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FHNW Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz, CCRS Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, BFH Berner Fachhochschule, Agroscope
Project financing: SNF (NRP 69 Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production)
Duration: 2016 - 2019
Further information: Project page
Foodscape.ch – An educational game on the Swiss nutrition system as a teaching unit
Foodscape.ch is a digital educational game, which is designed to show and make tangible the connections between diet, land use and health. The game is being created for use in the classroom and will be supplemented with additional material. This material will pick up questions from the game and will stimulate discussion. In addition to developing the game and the accompanying material, pilot implementations in schools with project partners are at the centre of the project. The aim of Foodscape.ch is to train young people to make responsible decisions in their professional lives, in their consumption practices and in their political participation.
In the eye-catching, walk-in box, visitors are warmly welcomed by a voice. In a dialogue, a range of environmentally damaging acts is presented on a touch screen. Visitors select one, whereupon various ways of rectifying this are suggested. A controller shows the magnitude of the environmental impact in different areas. All necessary calculations are based on scientific life cycle assessments.
Project partners: Atelier KreativKonsum, balthasarillustration, VAMOS! Film Gmbh, Roy Gablinger, Forschungsgruppe Nachhaltigkeitskommunikation, Life Cycle Assessment Research Group, Econcept AG
Project financing: Stiftung Mercator Schweiz, Gebert Rüf Stiftung
Duration: 2015 - 2017
Further information: Project page (German only)
Analysis of the potential integration of environmental impact measurements into the evaluation of food standards
In 2015, the NGOs PUSCH, WWF and others published a comparison of food standards on the Swiss market in order to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. This comparison is based on a multi-dimensional evaluation through indicators in environmental, social and governance aspects (Herrmann et al., 2015). The goal of this research project ...
Virtual Summer School - tackling climate change through glogal learning
Global challenges require international cooperation at eye level and innovative solution strategies. The ZHAW's virtual summer school "Tackling Climate Change through Global Learning" with partners in Brazil and India aims to train students to become global change makers. Global learning, intercultural communication and virtual teamwork are central ...
Agrobiodiversity Summer School
Agrobiodiversity includes the diversity of crops and livestock species and varieties, the diversity of production and food supply systems, different agricultural practices and intensities and the biodiversity that indirectly supports agriculture through provisioning ecosystem services. Agrobiodiversity is therefore essential for locally adapted and ...
Acceptance study in the Regional Parks ELa and Beverin
MyFoodChoice: Personal values for sustainable consumption
Consumption decisions are personal and based on one's own preferences, possibilities and values. Everyone has his or her own consumer ethical values and ideas according to which he or she wishes to act. But are they being implemented? A large proportion of Swiss people state that they also pay attention to sustainability in their purchasing ...
Agricultural production, consumption, trade of food, etc -- the Swiss food system is as complex as it is central to our daily lives. Our food supply has a greater impact on the environment, economy and society than almost any other area of life. And yet we are not very familiar with the structures and mechanisms that outline food in Switzerland. To ...
Regionalised Agricultural Life Cycle Assessment
The start-up financed project is a research cooperation of the research groups Life Cycle Assessment, Geography of Food and Geoinformatics for the development of a competence focus "Regionalised Agricultural LCA". The feasibility of a regionalised life cycle assessment will be examined with regard to technical and conceptual aspects as well as ...
TRANSFOOD: IMPROVING SUSTAINABILITY IMPACTS OF TRANSNATIONAL FOOD VALUE CHAINS
Globalisation of the food trade leads to various impacts on the economy, the environment, and society. Emerging economies that have expanded their agricultural trade and have become net agricultural exporters are particularly affected. The proposed research collaboration aims at combining interdisciplinary research expertise from Switzerland and ...
Food from Wood
Food from Wood is a research project about edible insects, which do not feed on staple food of humans. Rhinoceros beetles and flower chafers stand in focus. The larvae spend their development inside the soil until pupation and they feed on dead wood. After pupation, the larvae can be sieved out of the substrate and further processed to a food item. ...
The potential for ecologically sustainable agricultural production and ethologically responsible animal husbandry in Switzerland
Food is responsible for a large proportion of global consumption of natural resources and for many environmental impacts. The focus is on animal foods in particular. The high and growing consumption of meat and milk is a global challenge. Switzerland must also participate in the search for ways of achieving sustainable nutrition. A particular ...
Swiss agriculture is under increasing pressure due to international competition, changing consumer needs, declining margins and a changing environment. Although the competitiveness of traditional agricultural production is declining, examples of innovative farmers show that niche products and diversification strategies can open up new markets. In ...
Pearls of Sustainability
Sustainability can be experienced directly on Campus Grüental. Here you can discover "the Pearls of Sustainability" and learn more about our research Projects. Study our treasure map and track down the individual pearls. With a little luck, you will not only learn a lot about the 17 sustainability goals of the United Nations and our research, but ...
NOVANIMAL Innovations in nutrition
Abstract People around the world are consuming increasing amounts of meat and dairy products, nutrition-related health risks and pressures on the environment are on the rise. This project aims to identify innovations along the value chains that would reduce the negative impacts of producing and consuming animal-based food. In collaboration with ...
Global site assessment for hazelnut production
Currently, 64% of the world's hazelnut production comes from Turkey. A further 13% is produced in Italy. This concentration on a small number of countries poses a risk for the long-term safeguarding of the hazelnut supply. In order to ensure the procurement of hazelnuts in the long term, hazelnut production must be extended to other countries. The ...
Life holds temptations ready, which make each one of us to be carried away to a greater or lesser sin. But what are the truly ecologically relevant sins, what are they doing, and what can each individual do to avoid them and thus contribute to a more sustainable society? The "Ökobeichtstuhl" is an innovative science entertainment concept for ...
The Institute for Environment and Natural Resources (IUNR) has developed a tool for the efficiently and strategically planning of production and procurement in the agricultural market. It assesses the suitability of sites worldwide for specific agricultural products on the basis of geographic information on climate and soil as well as ...
E-learning course on sustainable food systems
The current food system is not able to produce food to nourish the people in a sustainable way. Less environmental impact, resource use efficiency, maintaining soil fertility, closing of nutrient cycles, stable harvests, improved distribution, avoiding food losses/food waste, fair business models and food sovereignty are the main challenges in the ...
Agriculture and agricultural policy between security of supply and ecological sustainability: convictions, interests and arguments
This study is based on the observation that discussions about agriculture and the "right" agricultural policy in Switzerland are highly polarised. Different economic and political interests alone are not enough to understand the intensity of an often emotional debate. There are several approaches to explaining why agricultural issues have such a ...
Opening up the market as a way to a sustainable Swiss agriculture and food industry - opportunities, challenges and solutions
Swiss food industry and agriculture have developed under the conditions of enhanced protection against competition and direct support for agricultural production. Over the past 20 years, agricultural policy instruments have been restructured, but this should not obscure the fact that agriculture is still clearly protected and supported and that the ...
Global Greenhouse Impact Model
The carbon footprint of foodstuffs is a key factor for sustainable development of the food sector. One of the major factors contributing to the carbon footprint of foodstuffs is the heating of greenhouses. The required quantity of heating is highly variable depending on production season and local climatic conditions. The objective of this project ...