Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Economy

The decisions of everyone in the food chain – from farmers, to distributors and consumers – are heavily influenced by economic factors such as price, risk and resource availability. The food economy is composed of a complicated, global network of trade, which today connects producers and consumers at scales never seen before. Subsidies for food production exist in almost all nations; some reject these as market distorting while others hail them for their ability to ensure sufficient national/regional supply of food at all times and to protect farmers. Foods that are traded as commodities are subject to volatile markets and also show the intimate connection between food prices and other sectors, such as oil.

13 February 2018

This book, edited by Gaetano Martino, Konstantinos Karantininis, Stefano Pascucci, Liesbeth Dries and Jean Marie Codron, discusses different types of organisations within the European agri-food sector.

13 February 2018

A report by the social enterprise Circle Economy finds that today’s economy is only 9.1% circular, based on their newly launched Global Circularity Metric. To move away from the current linear economic model, the report recommends extracting fewer resources, wasting less, optimising the resources we already have and cycling more resources back into the economy.

Photo: mundial perspectives, Mundial Perspectives, Flickr, CC BY 2.0
22 January 2018

In this brief communication paper published in the first volume of the new journal Nature Sustainability, researchers from the US and Belgium assess the impact of international trade on global food supply, at the level of individual nutrients, rather than total calories. Based on their hypothetical comparison of food supply in a world with and without trade, they argue that international food trade is essential for global food security.

21 January 2018

The latest EU agricultural outlook report has been released. It presents the medium-term outlook for the major EU agricultural commodity markets and agricultural income to 2030, based on a set of macroeconomic assumptions deemed most plausible at the time of the analysis.

8 January 2018

This new report by the Sustainable Food Trust, ‘The hidden cost of UK food’, presents an analysis of the price of the externalities (and subsidies) of the UK food system, which they compare to the amount of money spent on food and non-alcoholic drink at consumer outlets. 

28 November 2017

Where in the world is the most expensive plate of food? In this publication the World Food Programme calculates the relative price of a nutritious meal in countries around the globe when compared to the average daily income and finds that the world’s poorest would have to pay more than a day’s wages for a single plate of sufficient food.

30 October 2017

This book, edited by Naomi Hossain and Patta Scott-Villiers, explores the politics of food for people on low incomes and the role of food riots in provision politics.

12 September 2017

This book by Nick Silver provides an in-depth critique of the current financial system.

19 July 2017

Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit organization working with influential investors and companies, has released a new website to help investors when they make decisions to invest in food or agriculture companies. They argue that agricultural commodity trade is highly affected by issues such as climate change, deforestation, water use and pollution, and that companies need to take these into account in order to improve supply chain security and ensure consumer acceptability.

13 July 2017

These are two briefings by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST).

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.

26 May 2017

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.

Photo: naturalbornstupid, meat, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0 generic.
16 May 2017

A Global Meat News survey of top industry professionals analysing trading trends and impacts on the meat industry globally shows that most respondents (24%) stated that the pressure to limit meat consumption was the factor that hit the industry as a whole the hardest in 2016. 

16 May 2017

The website resourcetrade.earth developed by Chatham House enables users to explore the dynamics of international trade in natural resources (including food and agricultural commodities), the sustainability implications of such trade, and the related interdependencies that emerge between importing and exporting countries and regions.

25 April 2017

This policy brief, produced by the PBL – the Netherlands environmental assessment agency, investigates the integrated approach that would be needed to making the food chain more circular. In a circular food chain, raw materials are used in a way that adds the most value to the economy and causes the least harm to the environment.

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