Key research questions
- How do farmers increase health in their farming systems and is it possible to identify general drivers of good farm health?
- How can we successfully transfer tacit farmer knowledge and co-design new learnings to maximise health effects and adoption in organic farming and food systems?
- How do we develop resilient food systems that provide low-impact, safe, nutritious and high-quality food in sufficient quantities through the development of sustainable and healthy food and farming systems?
The importance of healthy and sustainable food systems
The increasing pressures on our food systems – including climate change, biodiversity loss, environmental contamination, and global health crises – call for a comprehensive and holistic systems-approach to finding solutions. That means linking up individual disciplines and jointly collaborating towards transformative change.
Our research in this area focuses on getting people working together, for example, through regional and national good practice networks of all involved stakeholders of the food system – farmers, processors, advisors, consumers, researchers.
We focus on testing, monitoring and demonstrating health concepts in organic food and farming systems in order to increase our understanding of health, its attributes, its connectedness in the various domains (soil, plant, animal, human, ecosystem), the delivery of public goods, sustainable value chains, as well as its impact on the whole food system. We have also developed a well-used method for sustainability assessment: the Public Goods tool has been developed and modified for different food and farming system contexts.