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Social cohesion, food and health: Inclusive food system transitions

Scientific Staff

Student Assistant


January 2021 – October 2023


  • Humboldt University of Berlin: Thaer Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (coordination)

  • Technische Universität Berlin: Food Biotechnology and Food Process Engineering
  • Freie Universität Berlin: Otto Suhr Institute/Environmental Policy Research Centre, School of Business and Economics, Institute of Animal Nutrition
  • Charité – Berlin University of Medicine
  • Egerton University, Kenia – Faculty of Agriculture
  • Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ)
  • Research and Innovation Network FoodBerlin
  • Berlin Food Policy Council


There is a broad consensus that the current ways of producing and consuming food have to change fundamentally. Agriculture and nutrition have a strong impact on climate change, biodiversity, the quality of ground and surface water as well as soil health. Furthermore, food value chains face severe social problems with regard to farmers’ low income, working conditions in the food processing sector, health aspects of nutrition and, from a global perspective, also the challenges of meeting the food related SDGs.

The project “Social cohesion, food and health. Inclusive food system transitions” takes up these tensions and aims at understanding the links between social cohesion, food and health in a more systematic way. To achieve this aim, the project integrates different disciplinary perspectives from social and political science, food and innovation system research, food technology as well as nutritional and medical science.

The project is coordinated by Prof. Dr. Peter Feindt (Humboldt-Universität), Prof. Dr. Klaus Jacob (Freie Universität Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Dr. Martina Schäfer (Technische Universität Berlin). Besides different departments of these three Berlin universities, further scientific partners as the Charité and the Leibniz Institute for Vegetables and Ornamental Crops are involved. The project also cooperates with various actors from business, administration and civil society, including the innovation network Food Berlin, the Berlin Food Council, the Berlin Senate administration responsible for the city’s food strategy as well as the cluster “food industry” of the Brandenburg Economic Development Agency.

The ZTG is responsible for conducting inter- and transdisciplinary case studies. The focus is on social innovations that contribute to more sustainable food systems including municipal food strategies, citizen shareholder companies, solidarity-based agriculture, institutions for (pre-)school catering, and initiatives for strengthening regional value chains.

The ZTG systematically explores questions of social cohesion: Is the access to safe, healthy and sustainable food socially balanced? Are innovations such as municipal food strategies or regional value chains socially inclusive? How does the ongoing differentiation of food styles affect social identities and social cohesion?

In the long run, the project aims to lay the foundations for a future Berlin Centre for Inclusive Food System Transitions.



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Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft
KAI 3-2
Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 104
D - 10553 Berlin
Tel.: +49 (0)30 314-23665
Fax: +49 (0)30 314-12323665


Martina Schäfer
Tel.: +49 (0)30 314-26854
Fax: +49 (0)30 314-12326854


Benjamin Hennchen
Tel.: +49 (0)30 314 - 29802
Fax: +49 (0)30 314 -123 - 29802
KAI 3211