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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.
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.
This research from USDA’s Economic Research Service looks at trends in consumer demand for organic food since the 1990s and developments in organic production.
A new center has been launched as part of the wider Chatham House organisation, the Hoffman Centre (hoffmanncentre.eco). The Centre will aim to bring clarity to complex issues through trusted evidence and insightful analysis.
This Data Science Insights talk hosted by Thomson Reuters sees presentations from Professor Nilay Shah from Imperial College, Judith Batchelar, Director of Brand at UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, and Derek Scuffell, Head of R&D Information Systems at Syngenta, who share insights on how their supply chains are driven by data. They discuss how advances in genetically modified foods and in agricultural technology could help prevent food shortages and price fluctuations and help the world feed itself by 2025.
This research article presents a novel method for assessing public policy with regard to an urban food system and discusses a first application of the approach in Basel, Switzerland. We want to thank FCRN member Christian Schader from the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) for providing us with this summary of his and his colleagues research.
This report from the International Food Policy Research Institute IFPRI provides a comprehensive overview of major food policy developments and events. Leading researchers, policy makers, and practitioners review what happened in food policy, and why, in 2016 and look forward to 2017. This year’s report has a special focus on the challenges and opportunities created by rapid urbanization, especially in low- and middle-income countries, for food security and nutrition.
From FCRN member Professor Amir Sharif from Brunel University, we are including this recent article in The European Financial Review entitled “Food Security In The UK: A Post-Brexit View”. In it the authors discuss what factors the UK needs to consider post-Brexit in order to ensure consistent, safe and secure food production, supply and consumption.
You can read the article here (requires free registration).
A new study submitted to us by an FCRN member, highlights a final report from a four year, multi-disciplinary research project conducted by the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (located in Richmond, BC, Canada).
This report from the UK free market think tank Institute of Economic Affairs claims that healthy food is actually cheaper than ‘junk food’. In drawing this conclusion the IEA also states that taxes on unhealthy foods (consumed as they say disproportionately by people with low incomes) is unlikely to be enough to change consumer behaviour and will be regressive - it will hit poorer people the hardest.
A newly revised edition of Tim Jackson’s important 2009 Prosperity without Growth has been published by Routledge. In it, Jackson aims to demonstrate that building a ‘post-growth’ economy is a precise, definable and meaningful task.
This World Economic Forum report explores four alternate visions of the world and its food systems in 2030. The key predictable forces of change are used as a base and the critical uncertainties of ‘Demand Shift’ and ‘Market Connectivity’ are used as axes to derive the four scenarios.