Event: Food Lab

(Bern, May 17, 2016). By 2050, nine to ten billion people are expected to live on Earth. Already more than half of what the Swiss eat comes from abroad. In order to comply with the Paris Climate Agreement, agricultural practices must change – not only to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases but also to operate agriculture without fossil fuels. The participants recognized a growing pressure on global food supply, as there is hardly any increase in yields under the influence of climate change. Nevertheless, it was difficult for many to imagine that the security of food supplies could also be jeopardized for Switzerland. Amongst the more sustainability-oriented experts participating in the Food Lab, the rapidly increasing resource pressure, accelerated by the climate problem, appeared to many less menacing than the organizers of the lab estimated. Is that driven by the confidence in Switzerland’s persistent, enormous purchasing power? Or is it judged that climate change, growing resource demands and the shifting global economy will not have any significant impact in the future?

Still, most of the participants still saw the need for action to ensure food supply in the future. Suggestions for solutions included: We should reduce the consumption of animal products (especially meat) and promote sustainable agriculture. The population should be sensitized to a change in their consumption patterns. We should reduce food waste and increasingly resort to season-appropriate and regional food. Adequate consumption and transparent labeling were mentioned as a starting point for sustainable food production as well as the need for a suitable economic policy framework, as well as controls on the whole value chain and agreements with small-scale farmers.

Read more here (in German):


This event was supported by Stiftung Mercator Schweiz and Paul Schiller Stiftung. It was made possible through the collaboration with various organizations, including FiBL, Helvetas, IFOAM,  and WWF Switzerland.

We would also like to thank Emmanuel Winkler, Karin Hess, Christian Schader, Frank Eyhorn, Adèle Thorens Goumaz and Thomas Zweifel for their support in designing and delivering the programme.