Circular Food Systems Network

The Circular Food Systems network is a network under the Global Research Alliance on agricultural greenhouse gases. The objective is to develop an active international network of researchers in the field of circular food systems, where knowledge can be shared and collaboration between research groups can increase the development and implementation of circularity withing the agri-food system.

In circular food systems losses of raw materials in the production of biomass are kept to a minimum by pursuing a closed-loop in which all produced biomass is utilised to a maximum extent. It is a whole-system approach that looks at the individual parts of the food system as elements of an integrated entity. Such a food system approach is more than the sum of its parts as interaction between the different parts of the food system results in additional resource efficiency.

Circular Food Systems (CFS) may contribute to increased food security and reduction of GHG emissions by increasing the resource security (use of waste streams reduces need for inputs e.g. land, water, fossil energy and nitrogen and phosphorus as mineral fertilizer), and by mitigating the net greenhouse effect of emissions from CO2, N2O and CH4 during the different stages of the food systems both via direct mitigation interventions such as reduction of methane emissions and indirect mitigation interventions such as through additional carbon sequestration in soils and biomass. The benefits resulting from circular food systems go beyond mitigation of GHG-emissions and food security, but may also include  increased biodiversity, and development of opportunities for ecosystem services.

Objectives of the network

The objectives of the network are:

  • To contribute to food security with mitigation of GHG emissions by circularity across the entire agri-food system
  • Bring together, develop and disseminate knowledge about the concept of circularity in food system across the world, and how it can contribute to GHG mitigation
  • Provide coordination for international collaboration on research and design of (region specific) circular food systems
  • Provide policy-makers with strategies how to implement circular food systems, based on proven technologies and system designs

Network kick-off workshop

The network had its online kick-off workshop on 22-23 June 2021. Participants from over 20 countries discussed their vision of a CFS and how CFS can lead to improved food security and GHG mitigation. During interactive sessions, participants established new collaboration for future research on CFS.

The CFS network will actively support these collaborations and research, to foster knowledge development and sharing. Results and outcomes of research will be communicated on this webpage.  

Download the presentations

Presentations of the key-note speeches by Prof. Martin van Ittersum and Dr. Simon Fraval can be found below, as well as an introduction to the GRA by Lee Nelson.

A circular food system means...

The introduction video below was shown at the kick-off meeting.

- Unfortunately, your cookie settings do not allow videos to be displayed. - check your settings

Case study deliverables

The network has financed multiple case studies that focused on circularity within agri-food systems. The final deliverables will be shared here. Below, you can find the deliverables of the finalised case studies.