Projects at the Geography of Food Research Group
Europe's mountain regions are facing major changes. Climate change, for example, poses major problems for regional production systems. As part of the EU project MOVING with 16 partner institutions from 23 countries, we are investigating in the Grisons mountains which value chains are particularly resilient and how we can learn from regional innovations in a sustainable way. Project page
Globalisation, climate change, resource scarcity and new eating habits require new concepts in agriculture. For this purpose, we have developed CONSUS as a GIS-based tool for crop suitability analysis, which uses soil and climate data for analysis. CONSUS can also be used to determine the effects of climate change on the suitability of agricultural crops for a particular location. For example, it shows that coffee growing regions will have to shift in the future. Project page
The demand for transparent information from cultivation to ready-to-consume chocolate is growing. We investigate the socio-economic conditions along the value chain using the example of cocoa from the Alto Beni region in Bolivia. Our data flows into a comprehensive database. It combines data on the value chain of cacao from Alto Beni from different scientific perspectives: socio-economic, ecological and agronomic data, as well as data on food microbiology/biotechnology/sensor technology and food quality. More information
Eating is an everyday occurrence and yet we are not always aware of the consequences of our consumption decisions. To help young people understand the connections between agriculture, nutrition and the environment, we developed and extensively evaluated the educational game Foodscape in cooperation with the ZHDK. More information, www.foodscape.ch
What impact does the import of food have on the environment and society in the producing countries? As part of the Transfood project, an interdisciplinary research cooperation was established with the Universidade Federal de Grande Dourados, which aims to analyse the sustainability impacts of transnational value chains. More information
We eat more and more meat and dairy products. Nutrition-related environmental impacts and health risks are increasing. NOVANIMAL identified innovations along the value chains to reduce the undesirable consequences of the production and consumption of animal foods. It became apparent that there is still great potential, particularly in the catering sector, to make consumption more resource-efficient. More information
Took the car to practice and ate a bar of chocolate out of frustration? Small eco-sins can happen quickly. In an interdisciplinary project with designers and scientists, the eco-confessional was developed as an interactive exhibition object. Based on life cycle assessment data, the visitor learns in a playful way about the environmental impact of everyday decisions. An evaluation confirmed the motivating effect of the playful approach to raising awareness. More information
MOVING – Mountain Valorization through Interconnectedness and Green Growth
MOVING aims to build capacities and co-develop policy frameworks across Europe for the establishment of new or upgraded and upscaled value chains, contributing to resilience and sustainability of mountain areas, valorising local assets, and delivering private and public goods. In this framework, the ZHAW team treats ...
Cocoa in Numbers - from data to knowledge
Nowadays consumers of cocoa and chocolate products are not only interested in safe high-quality products but also in products which are sustainable and produced under fair ecological and social conditions. The demand for transparency of information on the condition of cultivation, production and trade as well as on ...
WWF Standards Evaluations
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). ...
Virtual Summer School - tackling climate change through global 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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Escape Rooms and Outdoor Missions are booming: Electronic scavenger hunts, foxtrails, geocaching, or mobile phone trails are a popular leisure activity among young families or young people. Our new "Eco Missions" offer is designed to do justice to these new leisure activities. In an eco mission, the various aspects ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Sustainable and healthy diets: Trade-offs and synergies
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...