"Breaking down walls between scientific disciplines and supporting different agents of change to promote more sustainable food systems"

In the spring of 2011, Montpellier SupAgro created a Chair in World Food Systems (WFS), labeled by UNESCO within the framework of the international Unitwin/UNESCO Chairs programme, in partnership with Agropolis International institutions.

The aim of this Chair is to increase and disseminate academic and empirical knowledge on world food systems (in particular urban food systems), their diversity, their dynamics and their human and environmental impacts from the standpoint of sustainable development: qualitative improvement of food diets, reduced access to food inequalities, food production systems and optimized logistics, limiting food waste and recycling waste streams locally, feeding practices, etc.

The Chair relies on a network of researchers and teachers in Montpellier, France and the world, notably involved in the management bodies of the Chair (Steering Committee, SC) and in its Unitwin network (University Twining and Networking).

The WFS UNESCO Chair carries out the following activities:

  • Research: coordinate multidisciplinary research programs, particularly on the theme of urban food systems;
  • Education: transferring scientific and technical knowledge through education and training, particularly in the context of the annual seminar and Honour Master’s Degree "Innovations and Policies for Sustainable Food" (IPAD);
  • Sharing knowledge: setting up of conferences and debates between scientists, policy makers, business representatives and the general public.

The Chair’s activities focus on three themes:

  • Urban food systems: cities pose multiple challenges for sustainable food systems, but also invent new ways of producing, exchanging and consuming. To what extent do these innovations provide solutions?
  • Local and citizen initiatives: on the food front, numerous initiatives are emerging. To what extent do they make sense and can they become a system?
  • Diversity: the resilience of food systems will be ensured by respecting and maintaining their diversity without ignoring inequalities.

UNESCO Chair on World Food Systems – an open space without boundaries

The UNESCO Chair on World Food Systems (WFS) was founded in 2011 by Prof. Jean-Louis Rastoin (Montpellier SupAgro) along with a multidisciplinary group of teachers and researchers from (...)