Project

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Sustainable Trade Relations for Diversified Food Systems

Applicant Bürgi Bonanomi Elisabeth
Number 185603
Funding scheme NRP 73 Sustainable Economy
Research institution Zentrum für Entwicklung und Umwelt Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Legal sciences
Start/End 01.07.2019 - 31.12.2022
Approved amount 411'539.00
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All Disciplines (5)

Discipline
Legal sciences
Economics
Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Social geography and ecology
General history (without pre-and early history)

Keywords (9)

Sustainable Trade Relations ; Role of the Public Sector; Product Differentiation based on PPMs; Principle of Non-discrimination; Interpretation of Art. 104d of Swiss Constitution; Diversified Food Systems; Switzerland, EU, Germany, France, Bolivia, Laos; Concrete Regulatory Responses ; Inter- and transdisciplinary approach

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Ernährungssysteme sind miteinander verflochten. Sie nachhaltiger zu gestalten, erfordert ein gemeinsames Vorgehen. In diesem Projekt untersuchen wir, wie Staaten mittels nachhaltiger Handelsbeziehungen diversifizierte Ernährungssysteme fördern können, die aus Nachhaltigkeitssicht wertvoll sind.
Lay summary

Hintergrund

Das Projekt hat das Potenzial, festgefahrene Positionen in der Handelsdebatte aufzuweichen. Es wird aufzeigen, wie Staaten in ihren Handelsbeziehungen zwischen nachhaltig und weniger nachhaltig produzierten Lebensmitteln unterscheiden können, ohne dabei wichtige Grundsätze des Handelsrechts - wie etwa das Gebot der Nicht-Diskriminierung - zu verletzen.

Ziel

Wir möchten vielfältige Ernährungssysteme im In- und Ausland über differenziert ausgestaltete Handelsbeziehungen fördern. Dabei konzentrieren wir uns auf die Rolle des Staates. Insbesondere wollen wir aufzeigen, wie die öffentliche Hand zwischen nachhaltig und weniger nachhaltig produzierten Lebensmitteln auf kontextgerechte Art und Weise unterscheiden kann, um Handelsanreize danach auszurichten. Gleichzeitig werden wir das theoretische und empirische Wissen, das diesen Massnahmen zugrundeliegt, in verschiedenen wissenschaftlichen Disziplinen stärken.

Bedeutung

Werden Handelsbeziehungen künftig differenzierter ausgestaltet und auf die Förderung vielfältiger Ernährungssysteme ausgerichtet, kann die Transformation hin zu einer nachhaltigeren Ernährungswirtschaft massgeblich vorangetrieben werden.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.07.2019

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Les systèmes alimentaires sont interdépendants. Les transformer en systèmes durables requiert donc des efforts conjoints. Dans ce projet nous étudions comment les gouvernements peuvent établir des relations commerciales afin de promouvoir des systèmes alimentaires diversifiés es plus durables.
Lay summary
Contexte

Le projet a le potentiel de remettre en question des frontières depuis longtemps établies dans le débat commercial. Il illustre comment les gouvernements peuvent établir une distinction entre les denrées alimentaires produites de manière plus ou moins durable dans leurs relations commerciales sans enfreindre les principes fondamentaux du cadre commercial, y compris le principe de non-discrimination.

Objectif

Nous avons pour objectif de promouvoir des systèmes alimentaires diversifiés en Suisse comme à l’étranger en élaborant un cadre légal dans lequel inscrire des réglementations commerciales plus durables. Nous nous concentrons sur le rôle et l’influence du secteur public. En particulier nous identifions des procédures permettant d’établir une distinction entre les denrées alimentaires produites de manière plus ou moins durable en fonction des contextes afin que des incitations commerciales puissent être mises en place d’après ces critères. Par ailleurs, nous visons à renforcer les fondements théoriques et empiriques sur lesquelles ont été établies les réponses régulatrices développées par diverses disciplines.

Importance

Si les relations commerciales futures deviennent plus nuancées et assurent explicitement la promotion de systèmes alimentaires diversifiés, cela constituera un levier essentiel pour stimuler la transition vers une économie durable.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.07.2019

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Food systems are interdependent. Transforming them into sustainable food systems thus requires a joint effort. In this project, we examine how governments can create more sustainable trade relations in order to promote diversified food systems of a high sustainability value.
Lay summary
Background

The project has the potential to push long-established frontiers in the trade debate. It will illustrate how governments can draw a line between more and less sustainably produced food in their trade relations, without violating basic principles of the trade framework, including the principle of non-discrimination.

Aim

We aim at supporting diversified food systems both in Switzerland and abroad by framing more sustainable trade regulations. We focus on the role and leverage of the public sector. In particular, we identify ways of distinguishing between sustainably and unsustainably produced food in a context-sensitive manner in order to apply trade incentives along these criteria. Simultaneously, we aim at strengthening the theoretical and empirical foundations of the developed regulatory responses in various academic disciplines.

Relevance

If future trade relations become more nuanced and explicitly promote diversified food systems, this will be a crucial lever to advance transformation towards a sustainable economy.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 22.07.2019

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Project partner

Publications

Publication
A public economy perspective on private food certification and the role of the state
Mann Stefan, Haller Maria (2021), A public economy perspective on private food certification and the role of the state, Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), Switzerland, Bern.
PPM-based Trade Measures to Promote Sustainable Farming Systems? What the EU/EFTA-Mercosur Agreements Can Learn from the EFTA-Indonesian Agreement
Bürgi Bonanomi Elisabeth, Tribaldos Theresa (2021), PPM-based Trade Measures to Promote Sustainable Farming Systems? What the EU/EFTA-Mercosur Agreements Can Learn from the EFTA-Indonesian Agreement, in European Yearbook of International Economic Law, 1-27.
HRIA of trade agreements involving agriculture: Enabling innovative trade options that protect human rights
Bürgi Bonanomi Elisabeth, Musselli Irene (2019), HRIA of trade agreements involving agriculture: Enabling innovative trade options that protect human rights, in Götzmann Nora (ed.), Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK, 219-237.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
‘Agroecology works’ Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Sociedad Científica Latinoamericana de Agroecología (SOCLA) Uruguay (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Uniterre Switzerland Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Volkshochschule beider Basel, economic literacy Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
International Land Coalition (ILC) Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Biovision Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
SECO Roundtable on trade, climate change and sustainability Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
economiesuisse Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Food Summit Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Critical Scientists Switzerland (CSS) Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), Sustainable Trade within ELP Programme Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Swiss Biodiversity Forum Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Swiss Development Cooperation, Trade & SD Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Finnish Just Food Programme Finland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Swiss Knowledge Exchange on Research on Agriculture, Conservation, and Development Issues in Forest- 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
Deep Dive Sessions 2021, organised by the NRP 73 of the Swiss National Science Foundation Talk given at a conference Co-Creation Lab (Sustainable Food Systems) and Thematic synthesis (Policy Instruments, Legal Framework and Acceptance) 11.02.2021 Online, Switzerland Bürgi Bonanomi Elisabeth; Jacobi Johanna; Mann Stefan;
Sustainability through trade agreements. The case of palm oil, organised by Critical Scientists Switzerland (CSS) Talk given at a conference CEPA EFTA Indonesia palm oil: innovative approach? effective implementation? 10.12.2020 Bern/online, Switzerland Bürgi Bonanomi Elisabeth;
VIII Congreso Latinoamericano de Agroecología, organised by Sociedad Científica Latinoamericana de Agroecología (SOCLA) Talk given at a conference SPG en Bolivia. Estado Actual, Retos y Perspectivas para los Sistemas Alimentarios Sustentables y Justos 25.11.2020 Montevideo/online, Uruguay Jacobi Johanna;
ILC webinar in preparation of the Word Food Systems Summit, organised by International Land Coalition (ILC) Individual talk Elements of agreement and disagreement in recent international debates on farming systems 19.11.2020 Online, Italy Giger Markus;
2020 Annual General Assembly: Strengthening coordination towards SDG2: Pathways for Food Systems Transformation, organised by Global Donor Platform for Rural Development Individual talk Elements of agreement and disagreement in recent international debates on farming systems 04.11.2020 Online, Italy Giger Markus;
The 8th World Sustainability Forum, organised by Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MPDI) Talk given at a conference Session: Towards a Post-Lethal Agricultural System 15.09.2020 Geneva/online, Switzerland Jacobi Johanna; Bürgi Bonanomi Elisabeth; Mann Stefan;
3rd NRP 73-Programme Conference 2020, organised by the NRP 73 of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) Talk given at a conference Sustainable Trade Relations for Diversified Food Systems 13.02.2020 Centre Loewenberg, Murten, Switzerland Mann Stefan; Scharrer Bettina; Solar Jimena; Bürgi Bonanomi Elisabeth; Belser Eva Maria;
SWIFCOB 20 «In Biodiversität investieren», organised by Swiss Biodiversity Forum Poster "Alternative financing for biodiversity products: Example of Benzoin Production in Laos" 17.01.2020 Bern, Switzerland Hett Cornelia;
Certificate of Advanced Studies CAS Nachhaltige Entwicklung, organised by the University of Bern, Centre for Development and Environment Individual talk Nachhaltig in Nord und Süd – Globale Gouvernanz und Politikkohärenz mit Fokus auf Ernährungssicherheit 05.11.2019 Bern, Switzerland Bürgi Bonanomi Elisabeth;
World Resources Forum 2019 Geneva, organised by World Resources Forum Talk given at a conference Trade Relations and Sustainability Workshop, hosted by NRP 73 23.10.2019 Geneva, Switzerland Bürgi Bonanomi Elisabeth; Solar Jimena;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
ILC webinar in preparation of the Word Food Systems Summit Talk 19.11.2020 Online, Italy Giger Markus;
Aussenpolitische Kommission des Nationalrates APK-N, organised by der Nationalrat Talk 25.08.2020 Bern, Switzerland Bürgi Bonanomi Elisabeth;
Meeting NFP 73: Projekte im Bereich Internationaler Handel, organised by State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO) Talk 17.01.2020 Bern, Switzerland Bürgi Bonanomi Elisabeth;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: radio, television «Abstimmungs-Arena» zum Freihandel mit Indonesien SRF (Arena) German-speaking Switzerland 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Expertin Elisabeth Bürgi zum Palmöl-Ansatz: «Das könnte eine Dynamik auslösen» Aargauer Zeitung German-speaking Switzerland 2021
Media relations: radio, television Freihandel mit Indonesien: Abstimmung mit Signalwirkung? SRF (Rendez-vous) German-speaking Switzerland 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Im Schweizer Abstimmungskampf um das Handelsabkommen mit Indonesien geht es auch um Grundsatzfragen NZZ German-speaking Switzerland 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Interview «Indonesien sagt zu Recht: Was sollen wir anderes verkaufen? Mit Palmöl verdienen wir unse NZZ German-speaking Switzerland 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Ökotrend erreicht Freihandelsabkommen SWI swissinfo Italian-speaking Switzerland Rhaeto-Romanic Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland International Western Switzerland 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Streit um Palmöl: Vertrag mit Indonesien betritt Neuland Infosperber.ch German-speaking Switzerland 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Sustainability doesn't come free CDE-Spotlight German-speaking Switzerland 2021
Media relations: print media, online media Abstimmungskampf zum Handelsabkommen: Bundesrat verlangt Gütesiegel für importiertes Palmöl NZZ German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Die Grundlage für jahrhundertelanges Wirtschaftswachstum Handelszeitung German-speaking Switzerland 2020
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Mercosur: des études d'impact fragmentées et partielles Le Temps Western Switzerland 2020
Media relations: print media, online media Mercosur: lückenhafte Wirkungsanalysen Global (Die Alliance Sud-Zeitschrift) #80 Winter 2020/21 German-speaking Switzerland 2020
Media relations: radio, television Contribution on Mercosur, Indigene Völker verteidigen ihren Lebensraum SRF (Rendez-vous) German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Handelsabkommen- gute Rahmenbedingungen für die Nachhaltigkeits-Positionierung schaffen Lebensmittel-Industrie German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Nachhaltiger Handel: So geht’s UniPress German-speaking Switzerland 2019

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
169564 Curbing Illicit Financial Flows from Resource-rich Developing Countries: Improving Natural Resource Governance to Finance the SDGs 01.09.2017 r4d (Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development)
172451 Enhancing supply chain stability, resilience and sustainability through improved sub-supplier management -chocolate and cotton apparel case studies 01.01.2018 NRP 73 Sustainable Economy
204169 Protecting Biodiversity through Regulating Trade and International Business (BIO-TRADE project) 01.02.2022 BiodivERsA
177585 Towards Food Sustainability: Reshaping the Coexistence of Different Food Systems in South America and Africa 01.01.2018 r4d (Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development)

Abstract

NRP 73, 2nd callCorresponding applicant: Elisabeth Buergi BonanomiFurther applicants: Eva Maria Belser; Stefan MannSustainable Trade Relations for Diversified Food SystemsThe food systems of the Global North and South are interdependent. Transforming them into sustainable food systems - as required by Sustainable Development Goals 2 and 12 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - thus requires a joint effort. Of particular relevance in this regard is the way in which trade relations are shaped. Given the sustainability challenges associated with food production, processing, and trade, citizens are increasingly calling on domestic governments to engage in sustainable agricultural trade relations. But how can a state achieve this in a responsible and balanced way, respecting the sovereignty of its partner countries? What trade measures can it use to incentivize sustainable food systems? How can it draw a line between sustainable and unsustainable food production? And how can it do so in an effective, proportionate, context-sensitive, fair, non-discriminatory, and reliable way, complying with its international obligations and the objectives enshrined in its constitution? With this research project, we aim to provide concrete answers to these questions. We will develop a framework of legal principles governing diversified, sustainable farming systems to inform trade measures; and we will point out legal entry points in Switzerland and other consumer countries, including the European Union. Further, we will develop a draft regulatory framework for Switzerland.The applicants have opted for an unconventional research approach. The project has a legal backbone, but at the same time it is highly inter- and transdisciplinary. A group of renowned experts with extensive academic and practical experience in their respective fields will bring together insights from different disciplines and knowledge communities to inform work on the project’s overarching research question and to disseminate results. This project has the potential to push long-established frontiers and break down barriers related to public involvement in product differentiation based on processes and production methods. If future trade measures at different levels of governance are shaped in a more nuanced way to explicitly promote diversified food systems, this will be a crucial lever to advance transformation towards greater sustainability.
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