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Impact of Swiss Food Imports in Brazil

At a glance


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 Brazil in order to conduct a preliminary project on sustainability impacts of transnational food value chains using value chains from Brazil to Switzerland as an example. The seed money will support the establishment of a research cooperation between Swiss and Brazilian researchers in the field of environmental sciences, agricultural sciences and rural development for joint research in the field of sustainability and impacts of food value chains.
The preliminary project will address the following research questions:

  • What are the key impacts of global food value chains in emerging economies on the natural environment and society?
  • Which commodities and value chains have the greatest potential for improvement of associated impacts on the environment and society?
  • Which methods and indicators are most effective to assess the sustainability impacts of food vale chains?

The project will start in January 2018 with literature research on major commodities, hotspots, risks, and opportunities on the value chain. As a central element, a joint workshop will be held in Dourados, Brazil, where the researchers will develop approaches for a larger full-scale project. In the final part of the project, a full project proposal will be jointly prepared and submitted to a funding agency in December 2018. Methods used in the full-scale project will be complete Life Cycle Analysis and the Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium Model of Brazil to analyse the relationship between food production, economic value, and social and environmental issues.