The Food Model provides information about the theoretical coverage of the required food produced within the boundaries administrative units, depending on the local agricultural area and population. The model is computer-based and combines statistical and spatial data. As a mapping approach the model can be used for visualizing the recent situation or for projecting scenarios for awareness-rising and policy decision-support. This model approach has been developed in the FOODMETRES projects and applied for four European city regions so far [1]. The data inputs consider regional specific data based on recent official statistics and generic data derived from various sources. The data can be processed with excel software and mapped with GIS. There are no further software requirements.

Needed Data

Food Production

  • Total area in ha
  • Agricultural land in ha and per capita
  • Regional yields in kg/ha
  • Yields differentiated for conventional and organic agriculture.
  • Food waste and loss within food supply chain in %

Food Consumption

  • Regional population (can be differentiated in urban and peri-urban)
  • Average diet of the population measured in kg/capita/year and differentiated for vegetal and animal products
  • Estimations about the consumption of domestic products

Area Demand

  • Agricultural demand per capita (calculated from food consumption and the related area demand per unit (kg) food

Scenario Development

Currently the food model has been applied for 12 different scenario settings, in which the four key drivers (1) organic production, (2) diet, (3) food waste and (4) population were combined.

Baseline scenario 2015

current situation/ figures for conventional average regional production, dietary levels, food waste and loss, and population in the city region

Baseline scenario 2050

conventional, current diet, incl. all food waste and loss, 2050 population estimate

These two scenarios can be interpreted as business as usual scenarios. 

Sustainable development scenarios are represented by organic agriculture in combination with either changed dietary pattern and/or the reduction of inefficiencies in the food chain (food waste reduction at different steps in the food chain)

The input data (e. g. population, agricultural yields) for the scenarios are derived from literature, official statistics and include estimations, projections

The scenario approach can be used to test different policy leverages and demonstrate the impacts of changes:

    • in different agricultural production systems (conventional, organic)

    • of different diets (healthy diet, vegetarian)

    • of food waste and food loss

    • of change in population/society, land use, and climate

[1] Zasada, I., Schmutz, U., Wascher, D., et al. (2017). Food beyond the city – Analysing foodsheds and self-sufficiency for different food system scenarios in European metropolitan regions. City, Culture and Society.