The Co-creation of Sustainable Food Supply Chains (CO-SFSC) project is a Belmont Forum funded initiative that brings together researchers and practice partners in five countries – Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Sweden and Germany – plus a collaboration with an organization from the United States to study and transform sustainable food supply chains. The project is led by researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany.
The KIT team welcomed representatives from each of the six total countries to come to Germany for a Kick-Off meeting between July 1st and 3rd, 2023. During this meeting, participants exchanged, discussed and explored ideas and expectations for meaningful content that will help for the next three years working on the research project.
In addition to workshops and talks, the researchers also met practice partners in Freiburg to gain practical insights and sustainable expertise from the people involved in sustainable food supply chains examples in Freiburg, part of the German research focus.
Day 1: Get to know each other and visit to Turmberg
During the first day of the official Kick-Off event, representative from each of the six hubs had the opportunity to get to know each other and discuss the research project in person, sharing specifics from their case study and equally sharing best practices and standardizing protocols. As a starting points for discussion, a philosopher affiliated with the German team gave a presentation about how the concept of deep sustainability can be understood.
At the end of the day all participants visited the Turmberg, a beautiful hill that allows for sweeping views of Karlsruhe. Members of the German team oriented participants in this specific geography of the Upper Rhine, the focus of the research project in the coming three years.
Day 2: Research project planning and walk to “Die Räume” in Karlsruhe
On the second day, teams met to deepen their understanding of their own specific approach, push themselves to make a plan for transformation, and exchanged insights amongst the hubs. The focus of the second day was to deepen connection between hubs and participants by working in small groups and facilitating exchange. In the afternoon, the group took a walk to “Die Räume”, which introduced the participants to one of the local practice partners of the German team, a sustainable project that focuses on sustainable farming conditions, sustainable food supply for pets and nutrition education for children.
Day 3: Visit to Freiburg
On the last day of the kick-off, researchers from each hub participated in a field trip to Freiburg to further discuss communication strategies for the project, and to visit inspirational sustainable farms and community focused food production. The team met with a cooperatively run farm, a cooperative grocery store, and a cooperative bakery.