Announcing the launch of Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems

Today, on World Food Day, we are thrilled to announce the launch of Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems which publishes rigorously peer-reviewed research to address one of the biggest challenges of our time: to sustainably achieve global food security.

Today, on World Food Day, we are thrilled to announce the launch of Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems which publishes rigorously peer-reviewed research to address one of the biggest challenges of our time: to sustainably achieve global food security.

Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems aims to overcome the traditional disciplinary silos by publishing key insights across the entire spectrum of the food system — from production to consumption. Led by an outstanding board of over 300 international experts, the journal’s vision is to work closely with various disciplines along the food supply chain and integrate its socio-economic and agroecosystems framework for sustainably providing safe, nutritious and accessible food to the growing global population.

In view of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems provides an Open Access platform to engage all stakeholders and address the key question:

“How can our food systems be healthy and sustainable? Big thinking is required.” – Prof. Andrew Challinor

We welcome you to join us in this new adventure and as Prof. Challinor puts it “Be a part of the conversation!”

Submit your manuscript through our webpage:

Smart agriculture and smart farm technology concept. Revolving vane anemometer, a meteorological instrument used to measure the wind speed and solar cell system with rice field background

Smart agriculture and smart farm technology concept. Revolving vane anemometer, a meteorological instrument used to measure the wind speed and solar cell system with rice field background. Image: Shutterstock

Interdisciplinary Science for a Sustainable Food System

“The Frontiers in journal series recognises the importance of interdisciplinary research in tackling complex systems level problems and has the flexibility to develop rapidly in new areas of science” – Prof. Robert Rees

We are delighted to announce that the first Specialty Sections being launched as part of Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems are: Climate-Smart Food Systems, Water-Smart Food Production, Waste Management in AgroecosystemsSustainable Food Processing and Agro Food Safety. Other sections in our pipeline will cover a range of topics that include Agro Development and Environment, Biodiversity, Land and Livelihoods, Food Access and Governance, Food Value Chains, Modelling Food Sustainability, Tech Innovations, Urban Agriculture, New Foods and Consumer Behavior.

Climate-Smart Food Systems

“From the field to the fork, all aspects of our food systems are intrinsically linked to the climate” – Dr. Stephen Whitfield

To lead the journal’s Climate-Smart Food Systems section, we are pleased to welcome our Specialty Chief Editors Prof. Andrew Challinor, leader and founding member of the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Leeds, Dr. Stephen Whitfield, lecturer in Climate Change and Food Security at the Sustainability Research Institute and a leader in the new GCRF-AFRICAP Programme, and Prof. Robert Rees, Head of the Carbon Management Centre at SRUC and key leader of the Agricultural UK Greenhouse Gas Platform Programme.

Their goal for the section is to publish high-quality and original contributions across disciplines that analyse the concepts, technologies and implementation of climate-smart food systems, as well as their synergies and trade-offs.  Their full vision can be viewed here.

_“_I expect the journal to rapidly become an important platform for academic debate and discussion in this topic area. Now is the opportunity to set the agenda for the debate on Climate-Smart Food Systems. I would therefore encourage those with an interest in this field to submit their best research papers to the journal in order to move ahead with science and understanding.” Prof. Robert Rees

Hand watering the ground barren

Hand watering the ground barren. Image: Shutterstock

Water-Smart Food Production

The protection and sustainable management of water resources for food production remains one of the key issues across the sustainability landscape. As Prof. Matti Kummu points out, “T__he main challenge is to meet the increased demand of food with already stressed land and water resources. Further, in many places the diet is becoming more water-intensive due to growing meat consumption”.

Prof. Matti Kummu leads with Prof. Mathias Neumann Andersen the Water-Smart Food Production section of our new journal.  This section welcomes contributions that push the frontiers of knowledge in and across the various water use and water management disciplines, to address the current challenges in sustainably managing water resources for food production. Their Mission Statement can be found here.

Prof. Kummu works with the Water & Development Research Group at Aalto University and is an expert on the interrelation of global water scarcity and food security, having developed key work on the CGIAR Challenge Programme on Water & Food and the Mekong Region Futures. Prof. Andersen is the leader for the FFU project: Green Cohesive Agricultural Resource Management (WEBSOC) in Denmark and Ghana and has extensive expertise on agricultural water management with a specific focus on irrigation and water use efficiency of crops.

Waste Management in Agroecosystems

For an effective reform to take place in our current food systems, it is necessary to find ways to integrate agricultural waste into the Circular Economy.

The latest research in this area is covered in our Waste Management in Agroecosystems section led by Specialty Chief Editor Prof. Maria Pilar Bernal, Professor at Spain’s Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) with over 100 high-impact publications in Waste Management and a continuously increasing h-index of 44. The Mission of this section is showcased here.

Prof. Bernal shared with us her key motivations for furthering research this field – “Organic waste treatment and use are crucial strategies for development of a circular economy, saving resources and avoiding energy loss. There is a need for a high quality Open Access journal in this field”.

Prof. Bernal outlines the main challenges in agricultural waste management and their integration with the Circular Economy in her Specialty Grand Challenge, recently published in the Waste Management in Agroecosystems section of our journal. This section is also now featuring a series of themed article collections on New processes for Nutrient Recovery from Wastes, Treatment of Organic Waste in the framework of the Circular Economy, End-user Requirements for Recycling, Bio-Based Fertilizer Products, Risk Assessment of the Transference of Contaminants from Wastes to Agricultural Soil, and, of course, the RAMIRAN2017 Research Topic on Sustainable Utilisation of Manures and Residue Resources in Agriculture, which already counts with over 40 contributors.

Abstract blurred photo of store with trolley in department store bokeh background

Abstract blurred photo of store with trolley in department store bokeh background. Image: Shutterstock

Sustainable Food Processing

_“_The Circular Economy concept must be fully applied in the food chain” – Prof. José Teixeira

Prof. Teixeira leads the Sustainable Food Processing section of the journal. The section welcomes innovative and cutting-edge research on novel technologies for food processing and preservation and their integration within the Circular Economy for increased sustainability and safety in the food industry. The full vision for this section is outlined here.

Prof. Teixeira has over 100 publications in this field and is both a Full Professor at the University of Minho and the President of the Scientific Council of Portugal Foods (the largest Portuguese Food Cluster). Prof. Teixeira points out that: _“_The incorporation of materials that are relevant for well-being also demands the development of efficient technologies that allow for the adequate delivery (ie maintain the bioactivity) of these nutrients to the food consumer”.

The Sustainable Food Processing section is now hosting a key Research Topic on Sustainable Processing Innovations for Foods, with more to come!

Agro Food Safety

Importantly as food systems become globalized and new technology is developed, there is crucial a need to assess food supply chains at a wider scale, particularly when it comes to Food Safety.

We are very pleased to announce that the Agro Food Safety section of the journal is led by Specialty Chief Editors Prof. Michael Doyle  and Prof. Rodolphe Barrangou. Prof. Doyle is the Regents Professor of Food Microbiology and previous Director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia. Prof. Barrangou is the Todd R. Klaenhammer Distinguished Scholar in Probiotics Research at North Carolina State University and has pioneered the application of CRISPR-Cas systems for genome editing of food bacteria.

The section welcomes high quality contributions on biotic and abiotic contamination across the whole food supply chain and its relation to food spoilage and food waste, economically motivated contamination, risk management and food preservation. Its Mission is detailed here.

In a world where the food supply chain spans globally and food ingredients and products travel inter-continentally throughout manufacturing processes, we must set standards across the field that enable a safe food supply, starting with the very basic agricultural practices.  Unless we can provide a safe health-promoting food supply in a sustainable manner, we will not be able to move forward” – Prof. Michael Doyle and Prof. Rodolphe Barrangou

Testing fruits for contamination with pesticides in laboratory

Testing fruits for contamination with pesticides in laboratory. Image: Shutterstock

Why is Open Science important to advance research?

Our Specialty Chief Editors also shared with us their insights on why Open Access is important in the field of sustainable food systems. Check our accompanying blog post here

Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems is now accepting submissions

We have a wide catalogue of article types that support the different contributions made by our authors. We are also working with policymakers and business and have recently launched Policy Briefs to summarize key issues and actionable recommendations on specific topics, providing a decision-making tool. There are a number of ways in which you might consider contributing to the journal:

  • Applying to join the Editorial Board of a section as Associate or Review Editor;

  • Recommending a specialty section for inclusion in the journal;

  • Submitting a manuscript for consideration for publication in the journal or in one of our Research Topics (please consider applying for a fee waiver, should publishing fees not be covered by your grant or institution); or

  • Proposing a Research Topic.

Carolina Feijao, PhD

Journal Development Specialist- Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems