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Global food systems are under pressure. The way in which we produce and consume food is directly related to the transgression of planetary boundaries, including the loss of biodiversity and habitat, the emission of greenhouse gases, and the damage to phosphorus and nitrogen cycles.

In addition, the world's population growth means that less land is available to feed more and more people. High health care costs caused by diet-related diseases in addition to the fact that 800 million people worldwide are starving while two billion people are overweight show that a transformation of the global food system is necessary also for social reasons.

Ecologic Institute's researchers work at national and European level to develop ideas, concepts, and policy recommendations for sustainable food systems and to identify promising pathways for their implementation.

The research focuses on the reduction of food waste, the re-regionalization of food systems and urban food policies, and healthy, sustainable dietary recommendations, including alternatives to meat consumption.

To develop strategies fit for this purpose, an essential part of Ecologic Institute's work is to foster a participatory and transdisciplinary process by engaging with various stakeholders.



Related Topics



Land Use




Stephanie Wunder
Coordinator Food Systems
Coordinator Land Use Policy
Senior Fellow
Selected Projects for Food

Ecologic Institute 2020 | CC-BY-4.0

In order to implement the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 12.3, the German government aims to halve food waste at retail and consumer levels, as well as to reduce food loss during production and supply. According to Thünen Institute... Read more
STErn Ptoject Logo

© STErn

Between October 2020 and June 2023, the project "Socio-Ecological Transformation of the Food System" (STErn) is developing a political roadmap for the transformation towards a sustainable food system. The roadmap will identify short-, medium-, and long-term policy... Read more


The KOPOS project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Its goal is to establish regional supply structures in order to increasingly reconnect urban and rural areas and to practice environmentally friendly management. In the project... Read more
| Image by Robert-Owen-Wahl from Pixabay
The project "Trend Analysis: Meat of the Future" analyses the development trends of meat substitutes, analyses which effects can be expected from a market expansion of meat substitute products and identifies approaches through policy and research to reduce negative... Read more
Across the globe, nearly 30% of food is wasted throughout the agrifood supply chain. REFRESH ("Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain") was an EU Horizon 2020 funded project taking action against food waste. Twenty-six partners from 12... Read more

Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain (REFRESH)

EU Commission Farm to Fork

© EU Commission

From March to July 2021, a multidisciplinary group of 44 food experts came together with the purpose to develop concepts that can be part of a future-proof legislative proposal on sustainable food systems, as foreseen in the EU Farm to Fork Strategy. This includes a set... Read more

Legislative Framework for Sustainable Food Systems

Between 2016 and 2019 the project "Rural Urban Nexus – Global sustainable land use and urbanization" developed conceptual approaches and policy recommendations directed at an integrated and sustainable rural and urban development. Background More than half of the... Read more
Kriterien zur Erfassung des Transformationspotentials von Nachhaltigkeitsinitiativen (Quelle: Ecologic Institut 2019)
Despite many efforts and policy initiatives to strengthen sustainability in business and society the efforts taken so far do not seem to be sufficient to address current sustainability challenges and environmental degradation. However, there are numerous local... Read more
Auftaktkonferenz (Foto: Michael Gottschalk/phototek)
In the project "Scientific coordination of research projects on a sustainable economy" (Wissenschaftliche Koordination der Fördermaßnahme Nachhaltiges Wirtschaften, NaWiKo) Ecologic Institute and its partners coordinate 30 research projects, which deal with a more... Read more

Scientific Coordination of Research Projects on a Sustainable Economy

German Aerospace Center, DLR Bonn (DLR), Germany
Learning for Sustainable Agriculture: Urban Gardening in Berlin
The last years have shown a boom of urban gardening initiatives in Berlin. Among the core motivations of many gardeners has been the wish to actively experience and contribute to sustainable agriculture. Within the European FP7 research project "SOLINSA – Support and... Read more

Learning for Sustainable Agriculture: Urban Gardening in Berlin

| Fotolia © aa_amie
In order to enhance resource efficiency nationally and internationally the emerging political and societal debate needs to be analysed and fostered. The project aims to scientifically analyse this debate, to support it and to contribute impulses. To this end, inter alia... Read more

Resource Policy (PolRess)

All projects on Food
Selected Presentations for Food
With more than 1500 participants in the live stream and via YouTube, the online webinar "Saving the climate with knife and fork? How our eating habits affect the environment" on 18 May 2020 was a complete success. Together, Tanja Dräger de Teran (WWF) and Stephanie... Read more

Speech:Food and Climate Protection

Berlin, Germany
All presentations on Food