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Transparency and transformation in the sustainable food economy. Collaborative approaches for more sustainability from the resource to the end consumer (Transkoll)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

The final goal of this project is to develop and validate a toolbox of instruments and methods for small and medium sized enterprises (KMUs) that help to integrate sustainability in the whole food industry chain. Furthermore, the goal is to learn more about motives of action, structural and psychological barriers – respectively the behavior of the employees and the companies that have business relationships. It will also be evaluated how to establish transparency between the resource and the consumer and how to tackle insufficient consumer willingness to get product information.

SMEs and rural areas under demographic change – opportunities by social-environmental acting? (Regio TransKMU)

Jan 2015 to Dec 2017

Hardly any trend in Germany is discussed as intensely as demographic change. Rural regions will be particularly affected. It intensifies the internal migration already taking place and may lead to negative impacts on regional social structures.  It also exacerbates the existing or expected lack of specialists, which especially affects small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) and therefore the competitiveness of a region. The question emerges: which factors can increase the attractiveness of regions as a place to live and the attractiveness of SMEs as employer in a way that makes people want to stay. Given this context, the research project Regio TransKMU researches whether and how SMEs that act sustainably (in social and environmental terms) can shape rural areas and make them more attractive.

New opportunities for a sustainable food system through transformative enterprise models (nascent)

Apr 2015 to Mar 2018

In order to develop a sustainable food supply system, that enables food sovereignty and resilient food production on a regional level, the focus on local initiatives is increasing.

Initiatives with transformative potential are no longer exclusively situated in the sphere of either production or consumption, they are not only situated in either urban areas or the countryside, and are not only driven by economical success and/or limited by ecological demands. Instead these initiatives may diminish the impact of exogenous shocks and facilitate creative adaptation to changing environmental, socio-economic, and political conditions.