Innovation projects

We are investing in the future together with partner organizations: We are supporting global projects striving to find innovative solutions. These range from establishing fair value chains and making ecological and social commitments to maintaining biodiversity.

Fairtrade organic cashew nuts from Benin

© Gebana

Partners: Sunray, Gebana AG
Content: Establishment of a direct and transparent value chain for organic Fairtrade cashew nuts in Benin by setting up local cashew processing facilities and providing training for farmers in sustainable production methods.
Commitment since: 2016

Swiss organic sugar

Partner: Bio Suisse
Content: It has not yet been possible to offer organic Swiss sugar for sale. The aim of this project is to master the challenges involved in growing this demanding crop by means of knowledge transfer and practical trials.
Commitment since: 2018

Breeding organic seeds

© Marius Born

Partners: Sativa Rheinau AG, Getreidezüchtung Peter Kunz
Content: Promoting the cultivation and seed propagation of varieties of organic wheat and organic spelt and improving nitrogen efficiency along the bread value chain. Promoting the cultivation of tomatoes that can be regrown from saved seeds.
Commitment since: 2003

Baltic Grassland Beef

Partners: IKI, Bell AG, Mutterkuh Schweiz, Estonian ACB Vianco
Content: Establishing production of high-quality grassland beef from suckler cow husbandry in the Baltic to reduce air-freighted imports from South America.
Commitment since: 2011

Test farm in Mapraz

© J. Taramarcaz

Partner: Agridea
Content: Research into solutions to improve production technology, efficiency and sustainability on farms that have no cattle or few cattle and grow arable crops with the aim of raising the proportion of native organic arable crops produced.
Commitment since: 2008

Sustainable cocoa sourcing in Honduras


Partners: HALBA, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
Content: Project to achieve comprehensive sustainable sourcing of cocoa from Honduras through environmental and social initiatives such as reforestation, training and infrastructure work.
Commitment since: 2009

Cocoa project in Ecuador


Partners: HALBA, Swisscontact
Content: Preservation of the genetic diversity of Arriba high-quality cocoa through the specific use of domestic high-yield varieties and training for young cocoa farmers as experts in sustainable cocoa farming within a dynamic agroforestry system.
Commitment since: 2016

Sustainable value chains for rice

© Photo: S. Kumar, Swiss Helvetas Intercooperation<br>Khim and Neema Giri harvesting organic basmati rice in the village of Dhamar Devi in northern India. The Fairtrade organic basmati rice produced by this Fund project is available to buy in our stores.

Partners: Reismühle Brunnen, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
Content: Establishing fair, environmentally friendly rice value chains in India and Thailand.
Commitment since: 2011

Poultry house 2.0

Partner: Bell
Content: Design and building of an innovative experimental poultry house which improves the wellbeing of the animals, dramatically increases energy efficiency and reduces emissions.
Commitment since: 2018

ProSpecieRara products and services

© Sativa Rheinau

Partner: ProSpecieRara
Content: Introducing more traditional Swiss heirloom crops and animal breeds into the Coop range by providing support in finding and optimizing varieties, breeding and increasing quality.
Commitment since: 2003

Slow Food

© Slow Food

Partner: Slow Food
Content: Partnership with Slow Food to protect biodiversity and promote high-quality, artisan agricultural products through Swiss Presidi groups. Support in establishing quality control and in product and organizational development.
Commitment since: 2009

Climate protection projects


Partners: WWF, Fair Recycling
Content: Offsetting the minimised emissions generated by airfreight, business travel and Coop@home deliveries via WWF Gold Standard projects and Swiss Charter certificates from a fridge recycling project in Brazil.
Commitment since: 2007

WWF Climate Partner

© Markus J. Hässig

Partner: WWF
Content: Contribution to climate protection by reducing CO2 emissions particularly in the fields of appliances and products, own CO2 emissions, green electricity and transport/traffic.
Commitment since: 2006

WWF Global Forest & Trade Network Switzerland

Partner: WWF
Content: Improving performance and communicating a responsible timber and paper purchasing policy; increasing the proportion of FSC timber and paper sales by introducing innovative products.
Commitment since: 2006

WWF Seafood Group

© Heiner H. Schmitt

Partner: WWF
Content: Reducing the over-fishing of oceans by means of active product range selection with fish from sustainable fishing, organic farming or alternative origins. Ongoing reduction of marketed volume of fish that is rated as «think twice».
Commitment since: 2007

Projects in collaboration with ETH Zurich: Research for sustainable food production

© Heiner H. Schmitt

Partner: ETH World Food System Center
Content: Each year, CHF 1 million goes to supporting research into new approaches in the field of resource-efficient food production.
Commitment since: 2013

  • Dairy products as an important source of iodine in the Swiss population: Which factors affect iodine content in milk and processed dairy products? How is iodine best absorbed by humans?
  • What is the best way to sustainably increase production of organic basmati rice in India?
  • Smart ventilated packaging for fruit: What type of packaging is best suited to ensuring that food can be kept longer and to avoid having to throw it away?
  • How can green fodder for livestock husbandry be improved as a sustainable alternative to imported concentrated feed made from soy and maize? ETH Zurich is conducting research into how red clover with a higher content of energy-rich, biodegradable carbohydrates can be bred.
  • Cocoa plants can absorb the naturally occurring heavy metal cadmium from the soil: Which factors influence the cadmium content in the soil and the cocoa bean, and how can cadmium be reduced?
  • There are only a few breeds of chickens that are equally suitable for the marketing of both eggs and meat. They are known as dual-purpose chickens. What are the success factors for this type of dual-purpose chicken system?
  • Buckwheat is very difficult to grow and is rarely grown in Switzerland any more, although it is a healthy alternative to wheat, corn and rice. The research goal: To breed new varieties that are easier to grow.
  • Which sustainable, microbiological technologies can be used to increase the shelf life of fresh produce?
  • Establishment of a sustainable value chain for Brazil nuts.
  • Possibilities for the effective preservation of African leaf vegetables to prevent post-harvest loss and to contribute to a balanced supply of nutrients in African countries.
  • Evaluating and increasing the resilience of the teff (Ethiopian dwarf millet) and cocoa value chains.
  • Development of new sustainable products based on proteins from algae.
  • Natural solutions to prevent campylobacter attacks in poultry.
  • Genetic improvement of runner beans, a staple protein in developing countries.

More about the project

More about ETH WFSC