Project Profile: Co-SFSC

Co-Creating Sustainable Transformations of Food Supply Chains through Cooperative Business Models and Governance


Principal Investigators: Parodi Oliver, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis - Karlsruhe Institute for Technology, Germany
Partners: Pia Laborgne, coordinator and point of contact -
Adaman Fikret, Boğaziçi University, Turkey
Colby Ashley, Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative, United States of America (the)
Kantamaturapoj Kanang, Mahidol University, Thailand
Lin Ying-Chen, Feng Chia University, Chinese Taipei
Milestad Rebecka, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
Pongkijvorasin Sittidaj, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
Thongplew Natapol, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand
Topal Aylin, Middle East Technical University, Turkey
Wiek Arnim, Universität Freiburg, Germany


Full Project Title: Co-Creating Sustainable Transformations of Food Supply Chains through Cooperative Business Models and Governance
Full Call Title: SSCP2022


Project Objective: Climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in the Ukraine reveal unsustainable features of conventional, globalized food supply chains, including significant GHG emissions, food insecurity, high food prices, injustices against workers, and dependence on trade partners violating human rights. Various efforts have been undertaken to transform food supply chains towards sustainability by reducing transport, paying fair prices, adding value in the region of origin, adopting worker safety standards, and increasing accountability along the supply chain from production to consumption. Cooperative business models, such as worker or consumer cooperatives, as well as cooperative governance such as food policy councils or community-supported agriculture adopt many of these sustainable practices. Yet, there is little empirical, comparative research on how to implement sustainable food supply chains through cooperative models. This project coordinates transdisciplinary research activities across six teams in Germany, Sweden, Turkey, Thailand, USA and Taiwan that collaborate with local groups of diverse stakeholders on how to innovate, convert, and strengthen food supply chains in different socio-cultural-political contexts. While all studies explore entire supply chains, the cases are stratified with respect to the specific supply chain issues addressed, the phase of the supply chain open for the transformation, the range of food products, and the governance elements from the supporting entrepreneurial ecosystem. All teams draw on a theoretical framework that links sustainability transformation, short supply chains, and alternative food networks, while using a research methodology that combines sustainability assessment, visioning, strategy building, real-world experimentation, and evaluation methods, in transdisciplinary collaboration with supply-chain and governance actors. Results from this research are expected to provide guidance and inspiration to researchers and practitioners on how food supply chains can be successfully transformed towards sustainability.
Call Objective: Current patterns of global development based on people’s continuous extraction and exploitation of natural resources are not sustainable, and a societal transition to systems of sustainable consumption and production (SSCP) is urgently needed.

Call themes:

Theme 1 – Transdisciplinary research to help transition to green economies with sustainable systems of consumption and production
Theme 2 – Sustainable and Resilient industries and their governance systems
Theme 3 – Social Inequality and Environmental Justice
Theme 4 – Integrating new technologies, policies, and practices into everyday life




Duration: 36 Months
Call Date:
Project Award Date: