ASTER research unit

Higher Education Institution Agronomy, food, environment


A scientific policy focusing on agroecology and sustainable food systems.


Christophe David Vice-Dean

ASTER research unit

The research works of the department Agriculture, Food Systems and Territories aim to study the joint transformations of rural development and agri-food systems

The research of the team is integrated in ISARA-Lyon two core research areas: Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, as well as in the scientific project of the Rural Studies Laboratory, to which the team belongs


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These activities are divided into 3 subjects:

  • Agriculture and Agroecological transition: flow of knowledge, changes in the job and practices of women and men farmers,
  • Territorial Development: project dynamics, governance types and agriculture,
  • Food: organization of food systems, food habits, entrepreneurship and innovation.
Schéma ASTER

Food systems of the middle  




Our works pay special attention to what we call “food systems of the middle”, inspired by the American notion ”agriculture of the middle” referring to:

  • Middle-size farms:  the interface between commodities market and local services and local products market, corresponding to the reality of the diversified agriculture in Rhône-Alpes,
  • Local distribution network, between direct sales, short distribution channels, regional sectors and companies,
  • Product differentiation strategies, based on by technological, environmental, territorial, ethical and social qualities and specificities.



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