Agriculture and food systems

Smallholder sorting “papalisa” (Ullucus tuberosus), a delicious Andean tuber, Department of Cochabamba, Bolivia. Photo: Sarah-Lan Mathez-Stiefel


All people have the right to sufficient healthy, affordable, and culturally acceptable food at all times. For this reason, it is critical to design not only sustainable farming practices and agricultural policies, but also sustainable food systems more broadly. These encompass all the factors involved in production, processing, delivery, and eating of food – including the impacts of these activities. Food systems also bear major potential for creation of thriving, liveable human–nature relationships.

CDE researches approaches and levers that support comprehensive sustainability of food systems while accounting for their complexity. This ranges from safeguarding of productive foundations and agrobiodiversity to the design of food distribution and consumption. Here, special attention is given to the food sovereignty of vulnerable populations and (gender-)equitable implementation of sustainable food systems.