Food system research needs to build more bridges

NRP 69 researchers explain their findings to practitioners.

NRP 69 recommends that food system research should build more bridges between scientific disciplines.

Research and development (R&D) are essential to a healthy and sustainable food system of the future. NRP 69 illustrates the importance of holistic approaches that involve all stakeholders in the food chain. This extends particularly to the research landscape.

NRP 69 is in fact the first joint scientific initiative to come up with ideas and analyses addressed to stakeholders in the food chain. However, only very few research groups submitted interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary projects. One recommendation issued by NRP 69 therefore involves promoting a series of publicly financed R&D projects that bridge the various perspectives of the food system. In addition to cooperation between different scientific disciplines, partnerships between industry and academia should also be intensified. Moreover, research should contribute to establishing a system for observing the Swiss food chain.

This recommendation reflects the fact that Switzerland is lagging behind other countries on research and development, having only conducted its first national nutritional study in 2013, for example.