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 of CO-SFSC:
Interview with a member of TOCACO-SFSC
Photo Essay Partnermeeting in Thailand
March 2024

In mid-February, members of the Co-SFSC team visited our Thailand hub to learn about sustainable food supply chains, important actors in the organic food system, and exchanged ideas across contexts to help inform the transformative work of the other hubs in Germany, Taiwan and Turkey.

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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