Research

The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at the UBC Farm provides a globally unique research and teaching space aimed at improving the sustainability and resiliency of our regional, national, and global food systems.

The Centre embodies the concept of campus as a living lab, providing researchers with a research platform where social, economic, and environmental interventions can be designed, tested, and monitored within a living food system. Research opportunities span the whole seed to plate continuum while integrating a multitude of disciplines and sectors to provide global leadership for transformation leading to resilient and secure future food systems.

The Centre also embodies the concept of campus as an agent of social change, where learners of all ages can immerse themselves in the stewardship of a working, productive landscape. More than 3000 students, through 60 courses, across 10 different UBC Faculties and Schools collaborate with the Centre on curricular activities ranging from immersive internships to international research sites.

The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems is committed to research and innovation that creates solutions to these local and global challenges. The centre is a globally significant prototyping site for exportable solutions relevant to industry, farmers and communities worldwide.

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.

Holding to the motto, “no one thing does just one thing,” CSFS aims to research integration across all of society’s components and functions. In the course of discovering new or different forms of knowledge or technology, and communicating their relevance, CSFS address 1) how to fundamentally transform society’s relationship with the land, 2) what new technologies should be developed, prototyped, and tested to achieve sustainable food systems, and 3) how we innovate the value chain, from seed to plate, to achieve greater health and value of our food?

Interested in carrying out research at the UBC Farm or have an idea for a project? Visit our land-based project proposal page to submit your proposal, or send an email to ubcfarm.academic@ubc.ca for more information.

What courses at UBC can I take that interact with the farm?

From introductory tours to course based projects to immersive internships, there is a whole suite of ways to learn about locally and globally significant issues in food security, sustainable food systems, health promotion, renewable energy, ecology, climate change, and much more. Find out about current course collaborations here.

The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems provides a suite of academic services to the University of British Columbia and other university/college communities.

Academic Services Fees

Immerse yourself in the landscape of a working farm and community engagement hub to learn about a wide range of sustainability topics. Tours are held on site throughout the year, are a minimum of one hour in length, and can be tailored according to your curricular objectives. To book a tour, please fill out our Course Collaboration Request Form.

  • On-site guided tour – 5 to 30 students/faculty $100.00 / hour Tour lasts one hour and is led by one CSFS’s tour guide. Tour is tailored to the course’s syllabus.
  • On-site guided tour – more than 30 students/faculty $5 for each additional person OR $100.00 for an additional farm guide Fee is assessed and dependent on the number of students participating. May require the visit to be split into several time slots or require more than one farm guide (max 30 people per UBC Farm guide). Tour is tailored to the course’s syllabus.
  • In class lectures $150.00 / hour Lectures last one hour and are given by a member of CSFS’s academic team.
  • Invite a CSFS expert staff member to present a guest lecture to your class. Presentations are generally an hour long and held at the UBC Point Grey campus throughout the year. Our Academic team would be happy to work with you to tailor the guest lecture presentation to meet your course objectives and interests. For more information on booking in class presentations, please see our Course Collaboration Request Form. Lecture is tailored to the course’s syllabus.
  • Teaching support such as short (10 minutes) introduction to the site or coordination of indoor or outdoor space use Free For more information about booking Indoor and Outdoor spaces at the Farm, including associated fees, please see our UBC Farm Course Space Booking brochure
  • Community Service Learning (CSL) projects seek to engage students in collaborative community projects and hands on experiential learning by providing opportunities to work directly with the UBC community and beyond on critical food systems issues. From course based projects, directed studies, and immersive internships, there are many ways for students to learn about locally and globally significant issues in food security, sustainable food systems, health promotion, renewable energy, ecology, climate change, and much more.Please contact a member of the Academic Programs team for more information on CSL projects.
  • The UBC Farm provides indoor and outdoor spaces such as agricultural fields and innovative classrooms for teaching and research. For more information on research and teaching space booking fees and policies, please see Academic Space Use Guidelines and contact our Academic Programs team.


Current Research Projects

Midwifery students preparing traditional anti-anxiety tea

Transforming Society’s Relationship with the Land

Midwifery students preparing traditional anti-anxiety tea

Value Chain Innovation from Seed to Plate

Midwifery students preparing traditional anti-anxiety tea

Developing and Testing New Technologies


The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems is committed to research and innovation that creates solutions to these local and global challenges. The centre is a globally significant prototyping site for exportable solutions relevant to industry, farmers and communities worldwide.

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.

Holding to the motto, “no one thing does just one thing,” CSFS aims to research integration across all of society’s components and functions. In the course of discovering new or different forms of knowledge or technology, and communicating their relevance, CSFS address 1) how to fundamentally transform society’s relationship with the land, 2) what new technologies should be developed, prototyped, and tested to achieve sustainable food systems, and 3) how we innovate the value chain, from seed to plate, to achieve greater health and value of our food?

Interested in carrying out research at the UBC Farm or have an idea for a project? Send an email to ubcfarm.academic@ubc.ca for more information.