Food provision and environmental goals in the Swiss agri-food system: System dynamics and the social-ecological systems framework
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Department of Geography 
An important challenge for the Swiss agri-food system is how to align food provision with environmental goals in the context of increasingly complex conditions. This paper describes a system dynamics model that analyses the trade-offs and synergies between these goals arising from different fields of action. The model is grounded in the social-ecological systems framework and was developed in a participatory process with stakeholders across the Swiss agri-food system. Model analysis indicates that yield improvements and the implementation of more sustainable production systems have important leverage for increasing food provision and simultaneously improving environmental performance. However, these fields of action need to be complemented by fields of action outside agriculture such as reductions in food waste and losses or changes in consumption patterns. Model analysis also shows that the feedback perspective, inherent to the system dynamics methodology, promises to yield valuable synergies with the social-ecological systems approach.