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Geography of Food Research Group

Applied research and education for an agroecological transformation of food systems

About us

Our food system is facing major challenges that require fundamental transformations in the entire food value chain. Through our work, we aim to help shape the food system of the future, locally and globally, and drive an agroecological transformation. By promoting resource-efficient agriculture, fair trade relations and sustainable consumption patterns, we strengthen the diversity, sustainability and resilience of the system.

Updates from Geography of Food

Our Thematic Areas

An agroecological transformation requires adaptations at all levels of the food system. Thus, we are looking for new solutions in the field (Agriculture & Climate Change), within the value chain (Sustainable Value Chains & Consumption) and across the food system (Regional Food Systems).

Regional Food Systems

We initiate and support applied projects for a participatory transformation towards more resilient food systems. Regional and circular food strategies enable local value creation, resource-conserving production and resilient societies - for example in Swiss mountain regions.

We support the development of alternative food networks and new collaborations. Cooperation with the local population and actors from politics, administration and practice is central to the joint design of regional food systems. Locally adapted solutions are implemented and investigated using participatory methods.

reference projects: Ernährungsstrategien für Alle - Partizipation und Transformation in kleineren Städten, PRE Wädenswil

Sustainable Value Chains and Consumption

Our aim is to promote value chains that contribute to local and global sustainable development. We identify challenges and develop innovative measures in collaboration with practitioners. Our approaches include solutions ranging from resource-conserving production to supporting conscious consumption decisions through labels.
We focus on promoting short value chains, fair trade relations, closing cycles and creating transparency along the entire value chain.

reference projects: MOVING - Mountain Valorization through Interconectedness and Green GrowthNeuentwicklung von


Agriculture und Climate Change

Agriculture is not only severely affected by the effects of climate change, but also causes high greenhouse gas emissions itself.

Together with partners from research and practice, we are looking for solutions to adapt to climate change and protect the climate. For example, we are evaluating the current and future suitability of niche crops for cultivation or developing future scenarios for site-adapted production and sustainable nutrition. The aim is a diversified, resilient agricultural and food system in accordance with the principles of agroecology.

reference projects: Klimawandelauswirkungen im Pfefferanbau - eine globale EignungsanalyseOffensvie Spezialkulturen

In Research & Development

As an interdisciplinary team, we combine natural and social science perspectives. In our applied research projects, we explore and develop potential solutions from the field to the plate, supporting decision-makers in policy, practice and at the individual level.

Our competencies include:

Current Projects

Standortanalyse Rebbau in den Kantonen Aargau, Bern und Zug

Climate change is expected to alter the suitability of grape varieties for cultivation. The future climate must be taken into account when planting new vineyards. To support this decision-making process, we are investigating the suitability of different grape varieties for cultivation under current and future climatic conditions using a high-resolution heat sum index.

Ernährungsstrategien für alle – Partizipation und Transformation in kleineren Städten

How can sustainable food systems be promoted in smaller municipalities in order to reduce the environmental impact and strengthen local value creation?

The project investigates the potential of food strategies for the transformation towards more sustainable local food systems in smaller Swiss municipalities.


PRE Wädenswil

The Regional Development Project (PRE) Wädenswil examines how resource-conserving and sustainable agriculture can be promoted in Wädenswil and how cooperation between agriculture, processing, consumption and research can be strengthened. The aim is to strengthen independence from national sales channels and value creation in the region.

MOVING - Mountain Valorization through Interconnectedness and Green Growth

Europe's mountain regions are facing major challenges and changes. As part of the EU project MOVING, which involves 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.

In Teaching & Education

Our graduates are committed to the transformation of agricultural and food systems. You will acquire the necessary skills in our modules and in student projects within our interdisciplinary research projects.

Classes & Theses

We teach the following modules in the BSc in Natural Resource Sciences and the MSc in Environment and Natural Resources

Further Courses

Summer Schools

Students of ZHAW and other universities have the chance to participate in one of our international summer schools.

  • Agrobiodiversity Summer School
  • International Virtual Course

e-learning courses

Our freely available-learning courses are for anyone interested in sustainable food value chains.


For a younger audience we have developed the online game Foodscape . The game teaches the connections between nutrition, a healthy lifestyle and the use of resources in a playful way.


We would like to thank all our national and international cooperation partners from research, politics, practice and society for the exciting collaboration.