Food systems – University of Copenhagen

Food systems

The global population growth – and the even faster growing middle class – puts a severe pressure on the world’s food systems. As more consumers expect better access to food and better quality, the systems are faced with a number of derived effects of this shift in demand.

Thus, the task of increasing food production is not just a matter of quantity but a matter of managing and adapting agriculture to a changing climate with efficient recycling of water and nutrients and avoiding deterioration of the land and environment. Furthermore, research into food systems governance must provide solutions that ensure the rights of marginalized groups to a fair distribution of the land’s resources, and we must understand the role of consumer habits and how to stimulate new sustainable diets in different country-specific contexts.

In other words, a systemic approach to food production implies integrating a number of diverse, but crucial, variables. On this page, we provide an overview of current food systems-related research projects at UCPH.

Relevant research activites at the University of Copenhagen

Department of Food Science, which covers all disciplines of food science in the chain from raw materials to processing and consumption, is organized in six discipline-oriented sections that focus on both basic and applied research.

Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO)

Research within the fields of environment, natural resources, global development, food and agriculture as well as consumption, bioethics and governance.

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences has its focus is on plants, microorganisms, animals and the environment as a basis for sustainable production of food and other biological products. Research and teaching cover natural resources, agriculture, biotechnology and synthetic biology from the molecular level to the ecosystem scale. Research includes:

The Section for Molecular Plant Biology - research in increasing primary productivity for meeting demands for food and biomass for bioenergy

The Villum Research Center for Plant Plasticity  - investigates how plants respond to challenges in their environment

Copenhagen Plant Science Centre (CPSC) - addressing major challenges and opportunities regarding sustainable agricultural and biotechnological production
GREEiNSECT at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports is a research programme which contributes to research capacity building in Kenya by supporting PhD studies in the fields of insect production, food product development and economy.

Relevant research networks at University of Copenhagen

CCAFS  seeks to overcome the threats to agriculture and food security in a changing climate, exploring new ways of helping vulnerable rural communities adjust to global changes in climate. The CCAFS's international office is based at University of Copenhagen.
Natural Goods? Processing Raw Materials in Global Times is a research project which generates a comparative ethnography of natural resources. Combining ethnology, anthropology and cultural history, the project explores how people across different times and places process specific and widely distributed raw materials.