Nestlé is investing CHF2.8m ($3.1m) in the research program.
The program, coordinated by the World Food System Center at ETH Zurich, consists of two major research areas: agricultural crops and dairy farming. The agricultural crop research will focus on the nutritional value of crops including fibers, proteins and micronutrients. Special attention will be given to identify crops most suitable as ingredients for plant-based alternatives to meat, seafood and dairy products. The dairy farming research will focus on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in dairy farming.
Stefan Palzer, Nestlé CTO, said, "We're delighted to extend our longstanding collaboration with ETH Zurich – one of the world's leading academic institutions – to the agricultural sciences, to reduce the carbon footprint of agricultural raw materials. The development of more climate-friendly ingredients and products is a key focus area for Nestlé to help reduce our global carbon footprint."
ETH Zurich President, Joël Mesot, said, "We are looking forward to continuing a long tradition of collaborations with Nestlé as a trusted partner. Only by working together across disciplines and sectors we will be able to provide sustainable and secure food in the long term."
The new research program complements existing collaborations with the two Swiss Federal Institutes in Zurich (ETH Zurich) and Lausanne (EPFL), on topics such as food engineering, nutrition, and more recently, sustainable packaging.
The Future Food Initiative was launched in 2019, with Nestlé and ETH Zurich as two of the cofounders.