Co-creation of sustainable food supply chains through Cooperative Business Models and Governance (CO-SFSC)

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 (FSC) 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.

The goal of CO-SFSC  is to assess current food supply structures (incl. their supporting ecosystems like policies, financing, training) and to develop sustainable ones through innovation and transfer of cooperative business and governance models. CO-SFSC will co-create knowledge, visions, plans and small-scale experimentations on how to innovate, convert, and strengthen FSC in different socio-cultural-political contexts


Research across five "hubs"

Co-SFSC coordinates transdisciplinary research, incl. experiments, across five research “hubs” and with six teams in Turkey, Thailand, Taiwan, Sweden, Germany and the U.S., building a Community of Practice for mutual learning (Lave & Wenger 1998).

Find more information on each Hub:


Current News and Events about the Project:
Ying-Chen LinYing-Chen Lin
Interview with Ying-Chen Lin
February 2024

Ying-Chen Lin of the Taiwan Hub discuss with Ashley Colby the Taiwanese context for sustainable food supply chains, the role of agro-photovoltaics in the sustainable food transition, and goals for Taiwan’s food self-sufficiency.


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Kanang Kantamaturapoj and Natapol ThongplewKanang Kantamaturapoj and Natapol Thongplew
Interview with Kanang Kantamaturapoj and Natapol Thongplew
January 2024

Kanang Kantamaturapoj and Natapol Thongplew, two leads of the Thailand hub for the Co-SFSC project, discuss with Ashley the Thai context for sustainable food supply chains, the role of organic food in Thai society, and how to conduct transdisciplinary research for busy restaurant owners.

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Sarah Meyer-Soylu and Eva Wendeberg/ KITSarah MeyerSoylu and Eva Wendeberg / KIT
Interview with Eva Wendeberg and Sarah Meyer-Soylu
December 2023

Eva Wendeberg and Sarah Meyer-Soylu discuss with Ashley Colby the German context for sustainable food supply chains, what are the role of public “canteens” or cafeterias in schools or businesses, and how to connect local producers with end point consumers.

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Portrait Rebecka MilestadRebecka Milestad/ KTH
Interview with Rebecka Milestad
December 2023

Rebecka Milestad of KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden describes the role of cooperatives in Sweden, the history and background of the project, what the "diet for a green planet" is, and Rebecka's greatest hopes for the future of food supply chains in Sweden.

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portrait Aylin TopalAylin Topal/ METU
Interview with Aylin Topal
November 2023

Aylin Topal of Middle East Technical University explains the history, background and goals for the Turkish hub.

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Pia Laborgne (KIT)Pia Laborgne/ KIT
Interview with Pia Laborgne
October 2023

Pia Laborgne of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) sat down with the project’s communications lead, Ashley Colby of SCORAI, to discuss the Co-SFSC Belmont Forum funded project, what it is, how it is designed, and the ways you can follow along.

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Group discussion at the Kick-Off meetingKIT
Project Kick-Off
July 2023

The KIT team welcomed representatives from each of the six total countries to come to Germany for a Kick-Off meeting between July 1st and 3rd, 2023. During this meeting, participants exchanged, discussed and explored ideas and expectations for meaningful content that will help for the next three years working on the research project.

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