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.