Study and continuing education in Geography of Food
How could our food supply be made more sustainable? In the exciting online course, you will learn what sustainability means in the context of our global food system. We also show how food value chains need to be designed to pursue the goals of Agenda 2030 in line with the sustainable development of the United Nations.
Bachelor’s degree programme
The Geography of Food Research Group leads the following UNR Bachelor modules:
Global Food Systems
Providing a sustainable diet for the world is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. How will the global food system evolve, and what strategies are necessary to produce enough food without destroying the resource base? In this module we explore these questions and take a look into the future.
Eco-Balance Sheets and Label Management (minor)
This module builds on knowledge from previous minors to enable students to understand, question and put into practice methods for communicating sustainability outcomes. Through the use of eco-balance sheets or label assessments in practice, the importance of sustainability becomes tangible. Discussions with experts from industry, science and politics make the possibilities and limitations of the measurability, verifiability and communication of sustainability comprehensible.
Virtual Summer School
Global challenges require international cooperation at eye level and innovative solution strategies. You will learn about the impacts and challenges of climate change with a focus on agrofood systems in different geographical settings and elaborate possible solutions in international teams.
Besides the preparation from a local perspective, you will be connected to and work together with our partners from the Universidade Federal de Grande Dourados in Brazil and the University of Agricultural Sciences Bangalore in India.
Environmental Economics and Policy
Ecological stresses of existential severity are increasing, and resource shortages and conflicts are intensifying. Furthermore, far-reaching global shifts are taking place, both economic and political. In this module, different ideas on how to make the economy ecologically compatible are discussed.
In this module you will learn concepts of ecological economics (e.g. prosperity without growth, “Green Economy”), environmental and resource economics (e.g. environmental taxes, certificates) and environmental law. You will learn about strategies and instruments of a holistic environmental policy and deepen your knowledge through concrete examples (e.g. ecological tax reform).
In an increasingly complex world, the demand for professional support and advice is increasing. Be it professional advice, for example in the areas of energy or nature management, or process-oriented support, for example in conflict mediation. In this module, you will become familiar with selected consulting methods and instruments and practice them in class. Of central importance in the module is the concrete technical consultation of an organisation (company, association, etc.), from securing the consulting contract to the consulting types on offer.
Designing Sustainable Food Systems
How can food value chains be designed to contribute to sustainable development? The first part of this module, an eLearning course, provides insights into the sustainability of the global food system, the role of food value chains and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In the second part, students analyse an existing value chain and outline possible strategies for sustainable development.
Completed Bachelor’s theses
- Vera Nydegger (2019): Suffizienz in der Ernährung. Entwicklung und Durchführung eines Workshops zur Förderung suffizienter Ernährungsweisen.
- Yael Hazan (2019): Using Sufficiency to Stop Overeating. A Win-Win Strategy?
- Jennifer Schmid (2019): Mutter- und Ammengebundene Kälberaufzucht in Milchvieherden der Schweiz – warum ist sie nicht weiterverbreitet?
- Sarah Hell (2019): Bedeutung von Betriebskooperationen für die Innovationskraft der Berglandwirtschaft
- Patricia Krayer (2018): From chicks to nuggets: an assessment of socio-economic and ecological impacts of chicken value chains from Brazil to Switzerland
- Lucas Meile (2018): Resilienzbewertung einer Reihe Landwirtschaftsbetriebe in der Region Wädenswil: Denkansatz Transition Town Wädenswil
- Jasmin Siegrist (2017): Naturparkwirte: Verstärkte Zusammenarbeit Landwirtschaft und Gastronomie im regionalen Naturpark Schaffhausen
- Mustafa Ardic (2017): Promoting chances of Colombian coffee in the department of Antioquia, Colombia
- Manuel Pérez (2016): Globale Standortsuche und Potenzialanalyse für die Pinienkernenproduktion
- Mark Knecht (2016): Machbarkeitsstudie für Hass Avocado in Guatemala
- Sonja Züst (2016): Umweltfreundliches Bio-Obst: Wie gut sind Bio-Bananen und Orangen?
Master’s degree programme
The Geography of Food Research Group leads the following modules in the Master’s programme
Agrofoodsystem and Chains
Food systems are the basis of our nutrition, elementary components of the environment and our society, and important drivers of the global economic system. In this module, students acquire strategies – from production to consumption – to satisfy the multiple requirements of a sustainable food system.
Agrobiodiversity Summer School
Would you like to learn more about agrobiodiversity and how it contributes to locally adapted and resilient land use systems? Visit our Summer School!
Information on registration and details of the course can be found at the following link:
Further information and registration
Topics for Master's thesis
Completed Master’s theses
- Aline Roth (2020): How is the Issue of Overageing of Cocoa Farming Households Influenced by their Endowment with Livelihood Capitals? Case study of the Cocoa Farmers in Alto Beni, Bolivia.
- Stefan Gysi (2020): Innovation and Diversification through Niche Crops – Potential and Suitability for Switzerland
- Moritz Lüchinger (2020): Suffizienz in der Ernährung. Typen sich suffizient ernährender Menschen.
- Giulia Balmer (2019): Hintergründe zur Akzeptanz der Regionalen Naturpärke Parc Ela & Beverin. Die Sicht regionaler Akteur*innen. (Hier war ich aber nur als Zweitkorrektorin involviert).
- Hoinkes Carla (2018): How do consumers deal with sustainability issues in chocolate products?
- Schwab Sereina (2017): Nischenproduktion und Diversifizierung – Chance für die Schweizer Landwirtschaft?
- König Alex (2015): Environmental Hotspots and the Potential of Clean Technologies in the South African Fruit Supply Chain
- Stauffacher Sabine (2014): Enhanced Sustainability in the Coffee Value Chain: Opportunities and Challenges for Linking Smallholder South Indian Robusta Farmers to Small-Roasters in Switzerland
The Geography of Food Research Group leads the «Geography of Food» module in the foodward (German only) CAS in Food Responsibility