Food Systems

In our projects we analyse systems, that can enable sustainable and social just food supply. Innovative agricultural networks and sustainable food systems are researched transdisciplinary, respectively with an RRI approach (Responsible Research and Innovation) in regional, national and international projects. Hence, relevant stakeholders (like actors from civic society, agriculture, alternative food scene, companies, administration and politics) are integrated early in the research process to work on solutions together.

For more information, please contact Sandra Karner.

Research Topic

Our projects on this research topic

IFZ supports Forum Urbanes Gärtnern (FUG) to establish a competence center for socially inclusive, urban food production. This competence center will combine the following components: production basics (resources and seeds), educational activities (in-school, out-of-school), social gardening and solidarity-based food production.

PLANET4B is a transdisciplinary research project, aiming to understand and influence decision making affecting biodiversity. We rely on biodiversity for our very existence – it provides us with the basic ecosystem services that allow us to survive and thrive. Yet human lives and the biosphere itself are under threat due to the loss of biodiversity occurring at a global scale, and at an accelerating pace. Despite the mounting scientific evidence on the importance of biodiversity, it still takes a back seat to political and other agendas.

Through action-orientated and participatory research the cooperation between 16 partners will collect and analyse theories, methods and good practices to bridge the gaps in knowledge and effective decision making.

The project deals with the question, whether and to what extent social/community gardening can contribute to food justice: How especially socially stigmatised people can improve their access to and consumption of healthy food (= sustainably produced food, balanced, "healthy" nutrition) or how this can be improved structurally.

The project explores the question, how the modell of the cooperative can improve different food supply schemes such as community supported agriculture or food cooperatives in order to make the access to regional food equally attractive for everyone. Some of the ideas should be set in practice.

Within the project, a concept for an intended, small-scale urban agriculture in the north of Graz is developed. A focus is on a socio-economic business model and on regenerative farming practices.

Mountains cover 36% of the European area and have an important role in the provision of public and private goods. Despite their relevance in both ecological and socioeconomic terms, we lack updated and comparable knowledge about many aspects of these regions affecting their management and sustainability.

The Triester neighbourhood centre (association "Illusions") and the IFZ are currently dealing with the question how the supply of regional, environmentally friendly and affordable food in the Triester neighbourhood can be improved.

FIT4FOOD 2030 will develop solutions to the challenges of current food systems such as hunger, malnutrition, obesity, climate change, resource scarcity and waste, in line with the European Commission's Food2030 strategy. Two levels are addressed in the form of "labs": policy frameworks by means of ‘policy labs’) and practice Formby means of ‘city labs’ and ‘food labs’. Various actors are networked via a multi-actor platform.

The main objective of FoTRRIS is to develop and introduce new governance practices to foster Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) in research and innovation systems. FoTRRIS will, more specifically, focus on new governance practices to co‐design transdiciplinary RRI‐projects that are attuned to societal needs, values and opportunities and that connect and mobilise relevant stakeholders.

As a response to the multitude of food-related health and sustainability concerns a new food geography is forcing itself onto the scientific and political agenda. This new food geography is grounded in a different logic and incorporating different values than the industrial global food geography.

To support bringing the new food geography into the policy arena FOODLINKS will analyse and engage in knowledge brokerage activities and create effective linkages between scientists, civil society actors and policy makers.

The FAAN project is designed to engage civil society organisations (CSOs) in a “co-operative research” (CR) activity and in future research agenda-setting on “Alternative Agro-Food Networks” (AAFNs).

It is the object of the study to investigate topics concerning the application of meat alternatives based on Soja into the canteen kitchen menu of hospitals.

An aim of the project was to find out if, in Styrian farms, plant protection measures are being offered to farmers or requested by farmers as a service, and how a market could be developed for such a service. Therefore, farmers in agriculture, wine- and fruit growing were surveyed, along with consultants and repre-sentatives of the farmer association