Food Systems

Sustainable Food SystemsResearch Group

Advancing Sustainability in Agriculture and Food Value Chain

The Sustainable Food Systems group, nestled within the Center for Global Commons, works at the intersection of agriculture, food value chain, and sustainability. Our focus is on understanding and improving the sustainability of agricultural commodities’ value chains, with specific emphasis on global commodities such as coffee, palm oil, and cocoa, alongside critical segments of Japan’s agricultural sector: rice, beef, and dairy.

Our Approach

We approach our work with a deep respect for the environment and a commitment to contributing thoughtfully to the ongoing dialogue on food systems sustainability. Our guiding principles include.

  1. Environmental Stewardship : Our primary aim is to explore and promote approaches that reduce the environmental impact of agricultural production and of supply chain. This involves a careful examination of existing processes and the proposal of more sustainable alternatives.
  2. Focused Impact : While our research has global implications, particularly in the agri-commodities of coffee, palm oil, and cocoa, we also place a significant emphasis on the sustainability challenges and opportunities within Japan’s agriculture. We aim to generate insights that are both globally relevant and locally applicable.
  3. Collaborative Exploration : We believe in the power of collaboration to address complex challenges. Our group engages with a diverse network of stakeholders, including farmers, industry partners, NPO/NGOs, sustainability certification bodies, and academic peers, to explore sustainable practices and technologies in agriculture and food business.
  4. Practical Solutions : Our research is driven by the pursuit of practical, actionable solutions. We aim to offer recommendations that are achievable and that stakeholders across the food value chain can realistically implement.
  5. Global and Local Contributions : Mindful of our place within the broader academic and industry landscape, we strive to make contributions that are constructive and grounded. We share our findings with the hope of fostering informed discussions and advancements towards more Sustainable Food Systems.

Research Areas

Sustainability in the Value Chain of Agricultural Commodities

  • Coffee, Palm Oil, Cocoa : Our work seeks to uncover sustainable practices that can be integrated into the global value chains of these commodities, emphasizing environmental sustainability and the well-being of communities involved in their production, core competencies required to establish sustainable value chain, and drivers for sustainable and ethical consumption (mainly in Japan).

Sustainable Agriculture in Japan

  • Rice : We explore innovative approaches aimed at enhancing sustainability and supporting the livelihoods of local farmers.
  • Beef and Dairy : Our research examines ways to improve the sustainability of livestock management, with an eye towards reducing environmental impacts.
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