Project

Back to overview

Environmental-economic models for evaluating the sustainability of the Swiss agri-food system

English title Environmental-economic models for evaluating the sustainability of the Swiss agri-food system
Applicant Kopainsky Birgit
Number 145178
Funding scheme NRP 69 Healthy Nutrition and Sustainable Food Production
Research institution Flury & Giuliani GmbH Agrar- und regionalwirtschaftliche Beratung
Institution of higher education Companies/ Private Industry - FP
Main discipline Economics
Start/End 01.11.2013 - 30.04.2017
Approved amount 385'320.00
Show all

All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Economics
Agricultural Engineering

Keywords (8)

policy analysis and design; sustainability of food systems; lifecycle assessment; decision support; resource efficiency; environmentally extended input-output modeling; dynamic simulation modeling; impact assessment

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Dieses Projekt kombiniert verschiedene umweltökonomische Modellierungsansätze, um Entscheidungsgrundlagen für die Weiterentwicklung der Schweizer Land- und Ernährungswirtschaft bereitzustellen. Im Vordergrund steht dabei die Herausforderung, Ernährungssicherheit und Ressourceneffizienz in Einklang zu bringen.
Lay summary

Hintergrund 

Verschiedene Entwicklungen im In- und Ausland (z.B. Bevölkerungs- und Wirtschaftswachstum, Klimawandel, Rohstoff- und Ressourcenknappheit, Preisentwicklung auf den internationalen Agrarmärkten, weltpolitisches Kräfteverhältnis und technischer Fortschritt) stellen die Schweizer Land- und Ernährungswirtschaft vor zahlreiche Herausforderungen. Dabei geht es letztendlich immer um die Frage, wie Nahrungsmittel auf nachhaltige Weise bereitgestellt werden können. Eine Vielzahl von Akteuren ist an der Produktion, Verarbeitung, Verteilung, am Handel und am Konsum von Nahrungsmitteln beteiligt und bestimmt damit die wirtschaftlichen und ökologischen Auswirkungen dieser Aktivitäten.

Ziel

Die Komplexität der Schweizer Land- und Ernährungswirtschaft macht es schwierig, die Auswirkungen von veränderten Rahmenbedingungen und von möglichen Politikmassnahmen zur Verbesserung der Nachhaltigkeit abzuschätzen. Aus diesem Grund entwickelt das Projekt verschiedene umweltökonomische Simulationsmodelle und wendet diese an, um nachhaltige Entwicklungspfade für die Land- und Ernährungswirtschaft aufzuzeigen. Szenarienannahmen und relevante Politikmassnahmen werden in einem iterativen und partizipativen Prozess mit den relevanten Akteueren in der Schweizer Land- und Ernährungswirtschaft erarbeitet.

Bedeutung

Die Modelle ermöglichen es, Synergien und Zielkonflikte zwischen Nahrungsmittelbereitstellung und Ressourceneffizienz zu identifizieren. Sie testen Interventionen und Strategien zur Erhöhung der Nachhaltigkeit, die entweder von den im Projekt involvierten Akteuren oder von anderen Projekten aus dem NFP69 vorgeschlagen werden. Die Datenbank mit allen systematisch erfassten und zusammen getragenen Daten wird im Anschluss an das Projekt öffentlich verfügbar gemacht und kann damit für weitere Analysen, die über das Projekt hinausgehen, verwendet werden.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.08.2013

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
This project combines different environmental-economic modeling approaches to provide decision support for a variety of stakeholders for the further development of the Swiss agri-food system. It specifically addresses the challenge to align food provision and resource efficiency goals.
Lay summary

Background

The Swiss agri-food system has to fulfill multiple social, economic, and environmental functions under continuously more challenging framework conditions such as population and economic growth, climate change, resource scarcity, price volatility on international markets, international political instability and technical change. The central question in this context is how food for a steadily growing population can be provided in a sustainable way. A variety of actors are involved in the production, processing, distribution, trade and consumption of food and thus determine the economic and environmental impacts of these activities.

Aim

The complexity of the Swiss agri-food system makes it difficult to assess the impacts of changing framework conditions and of policy interventions aimed at increasing the sustainability of the Swiss agri-food system. For this reason, the project develops static as well as dynamic simulation models and uses them for designing pathways towards increased sustainability. Scenarios and policy interventions are developed in an iterative and participatory process involving the relevant actors in the Swiss agri-food system.

Significance

The models allow identifying synergies and trade-offs between the provision of food and resource efficiency. They test interventions and strategies for increasing the sustainability of the Swiss agri-food system suggested by actors involved in the project or by other NRP69 projects. The database with all the collected and coherently organized data will be made available to the public upon completion of the project and can thus be used for analyses that go beyond the current project.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.08.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Dynamic simulation model – an aggregated, feedback-rich representation of the Swiss agri-food system
Kopainsky Birgit, Tribaldos Theresa (2017), Dynamic simulation model – an aggregated, feedback-rich representation of the Swiss agri-food system.
Estimation of a Swiss environmentally extended input-output table with a disaggregated agri-food sector. Technical report
Nathani Carsten (lead author) (2017), Estimation of a Swiss environmentally extended input-output table with a disaggregated agri-food sector. Technical report, Rütter soceco; Treeze ltd; Flury&Giuliani GmbH, Rüschlikon; Uster; Zürich.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Swiss Society for Nutrition Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Federal Office for the Environment Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Federal Office for Agriculture Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Zurich University of Applied Sciences Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
System Dynamics Group, University of Bergen, Norway Norway (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
FiBL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Tagung der SGA-SSE Talk given at a conference Ökonomische und ökologische Wirkungen der Schweizer Land- und Ernährungswirtschaft: Bestandsaufnahme und mögliche kritische Faktoren in der Zukunft 30.03.2017 Chur, Switzerland Kopainsky Birgit; Nathani Carsten; Frischknecht Rolf;


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
178679 The Art of Living the Good Life: A Personalized Exhibition Presenting the Impact of Individual Lifestyles on the Environment 01.04.2018 Agora

Abstract

Swiss agriculture has experienced a successful transition towards multifunctionality in the last decades. In light of a continuous decrease in available agriculture land and a simultaneous increase in food demand and resource scarcity it is, however, clear that the Swiss agriculture and food system has to become more resource efficient from the agricultural production stage all the way to consumption. The objective of the proposed project is to describe pathways towards sustainable agriculture and food systems in Switzerland and to comprehensively assess their environmental and economic impacts. For this purpose, we develop and link simulation models with different time horizons and different levels of aggregation such as environmentally extended input-output and dynamic simulation models. This methodology helps design strategies for the optimisation of food and nutrition systems until 2030 and 2050 considering the changing societal and global mega-trends. The particular strength of our approach is the combination of qualitative trends with quantitative results from the applied simulation models which guide policy makers in the future direction of agricultural research priorities and design of policies that minimize trade offs between economic and environmental goals. Our approach also allows for an iterative exchange with other NRP69 projects and a joint contribution to more sustainable food and nutrition systems.
-