Food Sustainability

Work Team


Established in June 2017, now at its second edition, the Food Sustainability Observatory aims to give a tangible contribution to sustainably transform the agrifood system, through its research and initiatives, while placing innovation at the centre of its actions. The Observatory also wishes to help companies move from undertaking “isolated” cases of technological and product innovation to a system-wide process of innovation involving business models and processes, within each single company and throughout the entire industry, to create shared value along the supply chain and in society as a whole.

The Observatory has the end objective of closely analysing best practice in innovation for sustainability, in close collaboration with our agrifood companies, industry associations, non-profit organizations, startups, and public entities. This year’s research focuses on innovative food waste reduction practices, and new food packaging solutions focused on circular, newer, more comprehensive supply chain models to enable more equal distribution of the value generated along the food chain for the benefit of produces and consumers.


The Observatory's planned actions for 2018-2019 are as follows:

  • Research Work::
    • Empirical Research, conducted through interviews and case studies and by surveying and mapping innovative start-ups, nationally and internationally, etc., together with the preparation of models to pursue objectives of sustainability and evaluate the relative implications for the actors in the food supply chain.
    • A Kick-off Workshop open to companies and other interested bodies, with the end purpose of identifying the main topics of interest and sharing additional thoughts and suggestions.
    • Three Workshops reserved for Observatory partners and sponsors, where the aim is to share the intermediate findings of the research and compare experiences and successful cases.
    • Multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder pilot projects with the goal of expanding on «vertical» Research topics of particular interest, test innovative models, new technologies and process changes, measure resulting economic and social impacts, in addition to creating strong territorial networks and lasting partnerships with businesses, social organizations, and public entities
    • A Booklet Report, which is a paper report containing the main findings of our research and will be distributed during the convention.
    • Vertical Reports published digitally, which cover the individual topics covered in depth.
  • Actions to disseminate and spread awareness about the research results::
    • A public convention to present the main findings of our research, with round table sessions and talks given by our partners, sponsors and other key players from the food sustainability world.
    • Webinars and MOOC ttargeted to sector operators, focused on carefully examining highly significant content within the Research course.
    • Participate at national high-profile trade events and fairs across the Country , to share the “vertical” results of our research, present cases of success and take part in round table discussions with the interested Observatory partners.
    • Spread the research findings through the media (via, for example, newspaper articles and interviews on radio and television), to spread a culture of innovation for sustainable food, disseminating the outcomes of the research, sharing best practice in sustainable innovation and broadcasting awareness among companies, decision-makers and the general public.


Within the scope of our 2018-2019 research, the goal of the Observatory is to map and closely analyze innovative business model practices for a sustainable agrifood system, with particular focus on agrifood production and consumption focused on circular, “short”, more sustainable and comprehensive supply chain models. In particular, the Observatory intends to further explore the following areas :

  • Circular Agri-food Supply Chains
    The Observatory is focused on mapping and closely analyzing innovative, circular-oriented business models. In particular, it seeks to expand on innovative and food surpluses solution management to reduce waste along the supply chain, and on innovative, more sustainable and circular-centered food packaging solutions.
  • "Short" Agrifood Supply Chains
    The Observatory aims to map and deeply analyze “short” supply chain models and practices, that promote a more direct connection between producer and consumer, and more equal distribution of the value generated along the food supply chain by leveraging territorial proximity, disintermediation, and increased information through the product itself and its packaging.

The research methods utilised include a methodical analysis of secondary sources (local and international press, sector-related websites and scientific literature); interviews and in-depth studies of interesting cases; surveys; workshops with partners and sponsors of the Observatory and other rilevant stakeholders; work carried out by start-ups operating in Artificial Intelligence (surveys and organised analyses of Italian and international start-ups); socially impacting experimental multidisciplinary projects involving public and private, profit and non-profit players.

Sponsorship opportunities

Every year more than 300 companies join the Digital Innovation Observatories activities, getting in touch with the corporate, institutional and academic decision makers

More Details

Partners and Sponsors

If you would like to find out more about getting involved, collaborating and/or supporting research by the Food Sustainability Observatory, please contact Giulia Bartezzaghi (email: giulia.bartezzaghi@osservatori.net).