The SysOrg project’s year 2023 in retrospect

The SysOrg project aims at identifying pathways to increasing sustainable food production and consumption. The year 2023 was rich in project activities: Two partner meetings, a multi-actor workshop and a Joint Conference on Food Systems.

Visit to the farmers market. Photographer: Stefanovic 2023.

Funded within the Joint SUSFOOD2/CORE Organic Call 2019 project “Organic agro-food systems as models for sustainable food systems in Europe and Northern Africa” (SysOrg) aims at identifying how pathways to increase sustainable food production and consumption can be successfully designed. For that, five case territories in Europe and Northern Africa (Copenhagen, Cilento, North Hessia, Warsaw and Kenitra) are mapped and analyzed from four perspectives – system transition, shifting towards sustainable diets, enhancing organic food and farming, and reducing waste. The project started in January 2021 and is currently in its completion phase.


For the analysis, two units of study were chosen – households (for diet, organic and waste perspectives) and initiatives (for transition, diet, organic and waste perspectives). At household level, a household survey was conducted in each case territory, while the initiatives were investigated through semi-structured interviews following a stepwise selection procedure.

Activities in 2023

The Covid-pandemic rendered all the activities of the first project period to virtual events. The project consortium decided to make up for this limitation and organized two additional events – partner meetings in one of the case territories, the bio-district Cilento, Italy, in March and in Witzenhausen, Germany, in October. Moreover, two dissemination events were carried out – a multi-actor workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May and a Joint Conference on Food Systems, jointly organized by coordinators of the FoodLevers, FOOdIVERSE and SysOrg projects in Marburg, Germany, in October.

Partner meeting in Cilento, Italy, on 25-27 March 2023

The meeting consisted of visits to the investigated initiatives of the bio-district Cilento and project discussions totaling ten hours. During the meeting a consensus regarding methodological guidelines was reached.


Visits to the Museum of the Mediterranean diet. Photo credit: Basile 2023.

Multi-actor workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 22-23 May 2023

The 1,5-day workshop acted as a learning and exchange space for the project partners and associated territorial stakeholders and to disseminate the results. First, the SysOrg team visited the model region of Copenhagen with focus on the public food procurement. The second day was dedicated to the conference attended on-site and virtually by 40 participants from Europe and Northern Africa. Different dissemination formats were applied to facilitate interdisciplinary discussions: presentations and two different storytelling formats facilitated by the expert in science communication.

Workshop at the University of Copenhagen (left) and visit at the food school Kalvebod Fælled Skole (right). Photo credit: Matthiessen 2023.

Joint Conference on Food Systems in Marburg, Germany, on 4 October 2023

The conference served as a dissemination event for three food system-related projects of the 2019 Call - FoodLevers, FOOdIVERSE and SysOrg. The project teams presented their project aims, approach and selected results, and had an exchange about potential synergies. SysOrg was represented by eleven partners.

Introduction to the SysOrg project (left) and presentation of the SysOrg results in the poster session (right). Photo credit: Kosari 2023.

Partner meeting in Witzenhausen, Germany, on 5-6 October 2023

During the meeting, the results from each perspective were presented forming the basis for a cross-case comparative analysis. The structure and content for the analysis were discussed and agreed upon, and the preliminary structure for the resulting narratives was set.

On-site and online participants of the SysOrg partner meeting in Witzenhausen. Photo credit: Elsner 2023.

by Lilliana Stefanovic, SysOrg project coordinator (University of Kassel, Germany,, Carola Strassner (Münster University of Applied Sciences, Germany), Susanne Gjedsted Bügel (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Dominika Średnicka-Tober (Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Poland), Laura Rossi (Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Italy), Patrizia Pugliese (International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies, Italy), Hamid El Bilali (International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies, Italy), Youssef Aboussaleh (Ibn Tofail University, Morocco)