Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Food chain stage

The food chain describes the physical flow of goods from agriculture through processing and distribution, to retailing to eventual consumption and waste disposal. The papers and reports in this category highlight the different issues and impacts associated with each particular stage of the food chain.

Photo credit: Maryland GovPics, Buy Local, Flickr, Creative Commons Licence 2.0
12 September 2017

This paper examines the common assumption that local foods are more sustainable than foods sourced from more distant locations. Using the multi-criteria decision aid method (MCDA), which allows for multi-dimensional criteria to be assessed, this paper answers the following research question: “how do selected local or global food products compare and which rank first in terms of sustainability performance?”. 

6 September 2017

This book, edited by Jessica Duncan and Megan Bailey, includes chapters on a wide range of topics such as cultured meat, aquaculture, land rights and Arctic food security initiatives.

6 September 2017

The Sustainable Intensification Network (SIRN) has published a report based on a workshop they co-organised in Kenya in March 2017. The purpose of the workshop was to help inform potential future funding opportunities from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) for collaborative research between UK and African scientists, with the objectives of:

Figure 2: Photo Credit, PepOmint, Maple Leaf, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
29 August 2017

Maple Leaf Foods, one of Canada’s largest food manufacturers, has declared that it wants to become “the most sustainable protein company on earth”. With aims to improve nutrition, environmental sustainability, animal care and corporate responsibility, CEO Michael M. McCain released a statement saying that “Our food system has drifted from its roots, to nourish wellbeing, to farm sustainably, to view food as a universal good for all. We must serve the world better.”

29 August 2017

This book contains six chapters on food security and sustainability in the Middle East. The book can be purchased in its entirety or by chapter online.

Figure 1: Photo credit: Pete, Project 365 #193: 120713 Ugly Fruit?, Flickr, Creative Commons Licence 2.0
29 August 2017

This paper describes an online choice experiment to understand consumer preferences around best-before dates, appearance, and packaging of food products; the paper specifically studies the demand for discounted ‘suboptimal’ products in the supermarket, and consumers’ willingness to use them in the home. 

19 July 2017

Birmingham researchers propose that the UK food labelling which currently is used on individual products should be expanded to the level of an entire supermarket receipt. The ‘traffic light system’ shows the total data for calories, sugar, fat and salt in a person’s shop and highlights the total in a green, amber or red colour.  

19 July 2017

The research papers presented in this issue on urban food policies provide a selection of the articles that were presented at the 7th Aesop Sustainable Food Planning Conference in 2015.

19 July 2017

International trade in critical commodities is growing, which, this report poses, is increasing pressure on a small number of ‘chokepoints’ – critical junctures on transport routes through which exceptional volumes of trade pass. Were a serious interruption at one or more of these chokepoints to occur, this could potentially lead to supply shortfalls and price spikes, both within and outside of the food system.  Smaller disruptions might add to delays, spoilage and transport costs, constraining market responsiveness and contributing to higher prices and increased volatility.

21 June 2017

FCRN member ffinlo Costain has alerted us to this report produced by Farmwel. Farmwel is an NGO working to generate momentum towards sustainable and accountable mainstream agriculture, focussing on the environment, people's livelihoods, and farm animal welfare. This blueprint report was produced with the additional support of the Conservative Environment Network, and the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation.

Photo: United Soybean Board, "Corn field", Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
21 June 2017

This article examines how big food companies contend with some of the issues involved in efforts to improve the sustainability of their raw material supply chains. It argues that these large companies often operate in long, complex, and traditionally non-transparent supply chains that make it difficult for them to exert real influence over producers. ‘Big food’ is the description given to the world’s largest and most influential companies in the food and beverages markets.

Photo: harmishhk, "éolienne", Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
21 June 2017

This study presents estimates of how changes in climate might affect the value of European farmland. Based on data for over 41 000 farms, the results suggest that their economic value could drop by up to 32%, depending on the climate scenario considered. The models represent severe, moderate and mild outcomes, respectively.  Farms in southern Europe are particularly sensitive to climate change and could suffer value losses of up to 9% per 1 °C rise.

Photo: Simone Fenger, Cassava production in Agroforestry system, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
12 June 2017

In this article a group of American researchers provide commentary on how sustainable applications of integrated agricultural systems (IAS) can be designed to enhance all ecosystem services, without compromising the land’s resilience. The authors describe IAS as an interactive and synergistic resource transfer between multiple agricultural enterprises over space and/or time. 

7 June 2017

Abbreviated abstract
Rapid structural transformation and urbanization are transforming agriculture and food production in rural areas across the world. This textbook provides a comprehensive review and assessment of the multi-faceted nature of agriculture and rural development, particularly in the developing world, where the greatest challenges occur.

7 June 2017

This report describes the whole Flemish food system, what the Flemish eat, what attitudes, behaviors and trends play a role and the economic, environmental and social consequences of Flemish food consumption. It analyses the different Flemish food supply chains and indicate the importance of distribution, processing and production and concludes with a set of recommendations.
 

1 June 2017

This information brief is included in Science Journal for Kids, a resource dedicated to sharing cutting edge peer-reviewed environmental research with students (and their teachers).

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