Securing food supply is one of the greatest global challenges of the 21st century. There is a quantitative as well as a qualitative dimension to it. In order to organise the sustainable production of foodstuffs, it must be considered along the entire value chain. The second challenge is to provide society with a healthy diet. This requires a causal analysis not only of the impact of foodstuffs on health but, above all, of dietary patterns.
The research alliance sees itself as a transdisciplinary research structure. Most of the member institutions conduct research primarily in the fields of “sustainable food production” and “healthy nutrition”. The alliance also has skills in the natural sciences, engineering, economics and the social sciences and is experienced in scientific political consultancy. Moreover, members have expertise at all scale levels – from the tiniest biological structural units, through interactions between beneficial organisms and their environment, to macro-economic and global economic considerations and the assessment of consumer behaviour.
An essential objective of the research alliance is to establish principles based on systems science to respond to the interdisciplinary challenge of “sustainable food production and healthy nutrition” in all its complexity and on all levels of the system, and to be able to provide society with scientifically sound and systematically tested recommendations for action.