Research Program

The RTG’s main objective is to advance the research on the manifold interactions between agriculture, food consumption, nutrition, health, the environment, flows of information, and societal attitudes with a particular focus on policy options for increasing sustainability. This involves the development of new systems-oriented methods and indicators, empirical research with primary and secondary data, the identification of tradeoffs between different sustainability dimensions, and the synthesis of policy implications. Overarching research questions include:

  • How do food systems develop and what are implications for human and planetary health?
  • What types of synergies and tradeoffs between multiple sustainability outcomes of food systems exist?
  • What would be useful behavioral and policy changes to strengthen positive and reduce negative food systems trends, and how can these changes be inspired?
  • How are different stakeholder and broader societal views on sustainable food systems shaped, and how can evidence-based science communication be improved?

The RTG is structured in three research areas, each including several subprojects (SPs). While research in the RTG primarily builds on economics and social science methods, each SP also has one or more natural science counterparts (from Göttingen, IFPRI, KU Leuven, or other partner organizations) to strengthen interdisciplinary approaches and perspectives. Interaction between the different SPs is fostered through method-oriented and topics-oriented working groups. Click on individual SP titles to learn more.