The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) is a unique research Centre that aims to understand and fundamentally transform local and global food systems towards growing a more sustainable food system. The CSFS uses a diverse range of programs centered at UBC Farm. This centre is a living laboratory, committed to finding solutions to the global challenges facing the sustainability of our food system, and our resultant personal, community and environmental health. The CSFS is committed to research and innovation that creates solutions to these local and global challenges. The UBC Farm is a globally significant prototyping site for exportable solutions relevant to industry, farmers and communities worldwide.
CSFS works in three key areas of innovation that are essential to achieving global food security:
Transforming Society’s Relationship with the Land
The CSFS builds institutional frameworks and human capacities through influence, collaboration and research, and through a variety of programs for children, Indigenous Peoples, prospective farmers, and the community. By innovating people’s relationships with the land, both at the political and individual levels, the Centre helps reverse the trend of environmental degradation and loss of farmland, to ensure long-term stewardship of our land resources.
Developing & Testing New Technologies
The development of transformative innovations is a vital part of creating more sustainable food systems. The centre hosts research, testing and prototypes that help discover solutions to global challenges. Examples include developing sustainable ways to improve crop yields, inquiring into improved use of water and nutrient management, exploring sustainable aquatic production, investigating intensive protein production, developing synergies in land use and food production, and creating modular systems that can work in both rural and urban environments.
Value Chain Innovation: from “Seed to Plate”
At the CSFS, research and innovation addresses the entire food system. As a working farm with community programs and regular farmer’s markets, researchers at CSFS have a unique opportunity to influence innovation in all parts of the food chain. The infrastructure plans for the site will build on this opportunity plans by bringing food production processes to the site, and bringing together students, faculty and the community to study the complete food system, from production to processing to consumption.
“Do you care about what your grandchildren will be eating in the future? The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems works on solutions to realize a sustainable and healthy food system for future generations.” – Andrew Riseman, Associate Professor, Faculty of Land & Food Systems
The CSFS needs infrastructure to fulfill its potential as a global gathering place to create solutions addressing every part of the food system, from sustaining honeybee populations to promoting the next generation of farmers’ access to land. Plans for the site include research labs, classrooms, kitchens, flexible working spaces for community groups, increased space for crop preservation and seed saving, and meeting spaces for hands-on learning that are integrated into the farmland landscape. Please join us in building these resources and growing a healthier future.
The CSFS offers a vital microcosm for the study of regionally and globally significant food sustainability issues. Its living laboratory nature, with its food production (UBC Farm) and community-based programs, allows for the manipulation of a wholly contained food system, from production to processing to consumption along the individual to community health spectrum. This unique seed to plate research platform allows for knowledge and interventions to be assessed and designed in an integrated fashion, making essential connections between food system components, but also across all relevant communities.