Dr. Matthias Meier


Dr. Matthias Meier Doz. nachhaltige Lebensmittelwirtschaft

  • Contact hours Monday
  • Address Berner Fachhochschule
    School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL
    Fachbereich Food Science & Management
    Länggasse 85
    3052 Zollikofen


  • Lecturer in sustainable food systems, bachelor and master level

  • Research in the field of sustainability analysis and assessment

  • Sustainable food systems

  • Environmental assessments of food value chains

  • Sustainablity assessments of food systems

  • Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)


  • BSc in Food Science

  • BSc in Agronomy

  • MSc in Life Sciences

  • Sustainable food consumption

  • Sustainable product development

  • Sustainable sourcing

  • Consumer attitudes towards sustainability

  • Food Loss & Food Waste

  • Climate change - Emission reduction in in food industry and consumption

  • Life cycle assessment (LCA)

  • Sustainable sourcing, processing and tracing of food - Agriculture; methods of cultivation - organic versus conventional


  • Sustainable food industry

  • Sustainable food systems

  • Sustainability analyses and assessments of food systems

  • Sustainability assessments of food value chains

  • Life cycle assessment (LCA) of foods

  • Material and substance flow analysis in food industry


  • Born 1972 in Zurich, Switzerland, married, two children.
  • Specific know-how and experience in:
    - sustainability analyses and assessments of food value chains and of food systems;
    - ecological sustainability assessment of food, farms and agricultural production systems by means of life cycle assessment;
    - development of life cycle assessment methodology, in particular the development of impact assessment methods for biodiversity and soil quality, and nitrogen emission models for
    life cycle inventories of crop production processes;
    - ecological risk assessment of transgenic plants.
  • Since 2019 Lecturer in sustainable food systems - Bern University of Applie Sciences (BFH), School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL), Food Science & Management (FSM), Zollikofen, Switzerland.
  • 2010-2019 Project manager life cycle assessment (LCA) - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Department of Socioeconomic Sciences (Sustainability group), Frick, Switzerland.
  • 2010-2011 Research assistant - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, Institute of Integrative Biology, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • 2007-2010 Deputy director MAS Integrated risk management and research assistant - Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Competence centre for security and risk management (KSR), Winterthur, Switzerland.
  • 2000-2007 Co-managing director and research assistant - EcoStrat Ltd., Ecological technology assessment and environmental consulting. Headquarter: Zurich, Switzerland; branch office: Rangsdorf near Berlin, Germany.
  • 2000-2007 Doctoral thesis (PhD) - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, Institute of Integrative Biology, Zurich, Switzerland.
  • 1993-1999 Study in environmental sciences - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
  • 2013-2019 -- Member of the Swiss Expert Committee for Biosafety SECB
  • Scientific advisory boards:
    • WALDB – Quantis, Zurich (2016-2020)
    • OrganicFoodPrint – Eaternity, Zurich (2016-2017)
    • Technical Advisory Group on Nutrient cycles modelling and Impact Assessment in livestock supply chains, FAO, Rome (2016-2017)
    • Biodiversity in life cycle assessment – Fraunhofer-Institut, Stuttgart & BfN, Bonn (2012-2013)
    • ANIMALCA – Agroscope Zurich-Reckenholz (2011)


  • Check list«Sustainability in cheese dairies in Switzerland» -commissioned by Fromarte, Switzerland.

  • Proposal for the development of a guideline on "Sustainability in commercial cheese dairies in Switzerland" - commissioned by Fromarte, Switzerland

  • Assessment of the sustainability of food labels - commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office of the Environment (FOEN), Switzerland

  • Value chain analyis of cotton in Cameroon, VCA4D - commissioned by Agrinatura, funded by the Euroean Commission / DEVCO

  • Increasing the productive life of Swiss dairy cows: influencing factors, future scenarios and strategy development - commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office of Agriculture (FOAG), ASR, Bio Suisse, IP Suisse, Migros, SMP and Profi-Lait

  • ProOrg - Code of practice for organic food processing; 2018-2021; funded by the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), Switzerland and the European Commission; ERA-Net: CORE Organic Cofund Call 2016/17


  • Gabel, V., Home, R., Stöckli, S., Meier, M., Stolze, M., Köpke, U. (2018): Evaluating on-farm biodiversity: A comparison of assessment methods. Sustainability 10, 4812.

  • Rudolph, G., Hörtenhuber, S., Bochicchio, D., Butler, G., Brandhofer, R., Dippel, S., Dourmad, J., Edwards, S., Früh, B., Meier, M., Prunier, A., Winckler, C., Zollitsch, W., Leeb, C. (2018): Effect of three husbandry systems on environmental impact of organic pigs. Sustainability 10, 3796.

  • Schütz, L., Gattinger, A., Meier, M., Muller, A., Boller, T., Mäder, P., Mathimaran, N. (2018): Reliability of microbial inoculants for improving crop yield. Frontiers in Plant Sciences 8.

  • Gabel, V.M., Meier, M.S., Köpke, U., Stolze, M. (2016): The challenges of including impacts on biodiversity in agricultural life cycle assessments. Journal of Environmental Management 181, 249-260.

  • Meier, M.S., Stoessel, F., Jungbluth, N., Juraske, R., Schader, C., Stolze, M. (2015): Environmental impacts of organic and conventional agricultural products - Are the differences captured by life cycle assessment? Journal of Environmental Management 149, 193-208.

  • Gusberti, M., Klemm, U., Meier, M., Maurhofer, M., Hunger-Glaser, I. (2015): Fire blight control: The struggle goes on. A comparison of different fire blight control methods in Switzerland with respect to biosafety, efficacy and durability. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 12, 11422.

  • Schader, C., Grenz, J., Meier, M.S., Stolze, M. (2014): Scope and precision of sustainability assess-ment approaches to food systems. Ecology and Society 19, 1-15.

  • Schader, C., Jud, K., Meier, M.S., Kuhn, T., Oehen, B., Gattinger, A. (2014): Quantification of the effectiveness of greenhouse gas mitigation measures in Swiss organic milk production using a life cycle assessment approach. Journal of Cleaner Production 73, 227-235.

  • Meier, M.S., Trtikova, M., Suter, M., Edwards, P.J., Hilbeck, A. (2013): Simulating evolutionary re-sponses of an introgressed insect resistance trait for ecological effect assessment of transgene flow: A model for supporting informed decision making in environmental risk assessment. Ecol-ogy and Evolution 3, 416-423.

  • Hilbeck, A., McMillan, J.M, Meier, M., Humbel, A., Schläpfer-Miller, J. & Trtikova, M. (2012): A contro-versy re-visited: Is the coccinellid Adalia bipunctata adversely affected by Bt toxins? Environmental Sciences Europe 24.

  • Hilbeck, A., Meier, M. & Trtikova, M. (2012): Underlying reasons of the controversy over adverse effects of Bt toxins on lady beetle and lacewing larvae. Environmental Sciences Europe 24.

  • Szekacs, A., Weiss, G., Quist, D., Takacs, E., Darvas, B., Meier, M., Swain, T. & Hilbeck, A. (2012): Interlaboratory comparison of Cry1Ab toxin quantification in MON 810 maize by enzyme-immunoassay. Food and Agricultural Immunology 23(2):99-121.

  • Drapela, T., Markut, T., Meier, M.S., Pfiffner, L., Schader, C. (2018): Biodiversity performance of organic farms in Austria – results from eight years of biodiversity assessment. ICOAS '18. 6th International Conference on Organic Agriculture Sciences. 7 - 9 Nov., Eisenstadt, Austria, p. 18.

  • Oehen, B.& Meier, M.S. (2017): Standortgerechte Rindfleischproduktion im Schweizer Biolandbau. In: Wolfrum, S., Heuwinkel, H., Reents, H.J., Wiesinger, K., Hülsbergen, K.-J. (Eds.), 14. Wissenschaftstagung Ökologischer Landbau. Verlag Dr. Köster, Berlin, Freising-Weihenstephan, pp. 488-491.

  • Meier, M.S., Jungbluth, N., Stoessel, F., Schader, C., Stolze, M. (2014): Higher accuracy in N modeling makes a difference. In: Schenck, R., Huizenga, D. (Eds.) (2014): Proceedings of the 9th In-ternational Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food Sector (LCA Food 2014), 8-10 October 2014, San Francisco, USA. ACLCA, Vashon, WA, USA, pp. 797-806.

  • Meier, M.S., Schader, Ch. & Gattinger, A. (2012): Modelling N2O emissions from organic fertilisers for LCA inventories. In: Corson, M.S., van der Werf, H.M.G. (Eds.), 8th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food Sector (LCA Food 2012), 1-4 October 2012. INRA, Rennes, France, Sain-Malo, France, pp. 177-182.

  • Schader, Ch., Jud, K., Meier, M.S., Kuhn, T., Oehen, B. & Gattinger, A. (2012): Quantification of the reduction potential of GHG mitigation measures in Swiss organic milk production using a life cy-cle assessment approach. In: Corson, M.S., van der Werf, H.M.G. (Eds.), 8th International Con-ference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food Sector (LCA Food 2012), 1-4 October 2012. INRA, Rennes, France, Sain-Malo, France, pp. 333-337.

  • Meier, M. (2020): Ist regional gleichzeitig immer nachhaltig? Standortangepasste Landwirtschaft und Umweltauswirkungen der Nahrungsmittelkonsums. In: Schanz, H.; Pregernig, M.; Baldy, J.; Sipple, D.; Kruse, S. (Hrsg.) (2020): Kommunen gestalten Ernährung – Neue Handlungsfelder nachhaltiger Stadtentwicklung. DStGB Dokumentation, 2020, Nr. 153. Deutscher Städte- und Gemeindebund, Berlin, p. 12.

  • Biedermann, R., Bartel, A., Schwank, O., Frick, R., Meier, M., Ramsak-Noemi, K., Zethner, G., Weisshaidinger, R. (2019): Die Folgen der aktuellen landwirtschaftlichen Praxis auf die Umwelt: Anspruch und Wirklichkeit. In: Stolze, M., Weisshaidinger, R., Bartel, A., Schwank, O., Müller, A., Biedermann, R. (Eds.), Chancen der Landwirtschaft in den Alpenländern. Haupt, Bern, pp. 35-71.

  • Bautze, L., Nicolay, G.L., Meier, M., Gattinger, A., Muller, A. (2018): Climate Change Adaptation Through Science-Farmer-Policy Dialogue in Mali. In: Leal, F.W. (Ed.), Handbook of Climate Change Resilience. Springer, Cham.

  • Fok, M., Nicolay, G., Meier, M., Balarabe, O., Calaque, R. (2019). Value chain analysis of cotton in Cameroon. Report to the European Union, DG-DEVCO. Value Chain Analysis for Development Project (VCA4D CTR 2016/375-804), 159 p + annexes.

  • Meier, M., Hörtenhuber, S., Schader, C., Stolze, M. (2017): Organic Framing and Sustainability: Life cycle assessment of organic foods. FiBL Facts Sheet. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Frick, Vienna. https://shop.fibl.org/chde/1020-life-cycle-assessments.html

  • Müller, A., Bautze, L., Meier, M., Gattinger, A., Gall, E., Chatzinikolaou, E., Meredith, S., Ukas, T., Ullmann, L. (2016): Organic farming, climate change mitigation and beyond. Reducing the environmental impacts of EU agriculture. IFOAM EU and FiBL, Brussels, Belgium, p. 72. http://www.ifoam-eu.org/sites/default/files/ifoameu_advocacy_climate_change_report_2016.pdf

Language skills and intercultural knowledge

  • German - Native or bilingual proficiency
  • English - Full professional proficiency
  • French - Limited working proficiency
  • India
  • Cameroon
  • United States of America