Organic food systems

The department is involved in leading an international initiative of the United Nations (UN) 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patternsder Vereinten Nationen (UN). The aim of 10YFP is to increase the adoption of sustainable consumption and production practices worldwide and to support activities at the global, national and local levels.

Methodically, we work with a systems approach. It examines elements, their relationships and framework conditions, as well as the outcomes of a system. The department understands an organic food system as a socio-ecological system model (see figure) and as a "living laboratory" for sustainable food systems. The application of the model shall at the same further develop the values ​​and principles of organic farming along the value chain from field to fork. A central component of sustainable food systems is sustainable diets. The department follows the definition of the FAO 2012:

Sustainable diets are those diets with low environmental impacts which contribute to food and nutrition security and to healthy life for present and future generations. Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable; nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy; while optimizing natural and human resources.

The principles of a sustainable diet are based on the principles of the well researched New Nordic Dietdeveloped at the University of Copenhagen. This combines nutrition with organic production of the food, as well as with the quality dimensions of sustainability, health, palatability and cultural identity.

Image: Kahl, 2018