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European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE)

Edito

                        Governance of food chains and consumption dynamics:
                           what are the impacts on food security and sustainability?

Theme

The seminar will explore consumption behavior and food chain dynamics as the result of the capabilities, strategies and environment of stakeholders in the food chain, including consumers. Consumption dynamics mostly refer to food transition with a rising intake of meat, sugar, fats and processed food in some regions and consumers’ groups, but also patterns of resistance in others. These go hand-in-hand with concentration trends in distribution, vertical integration and innovations in logistics, quality and labelling at various levels, as they may be promoted by SMEs as well as corporations. Particular attention will be paid to the issue of how public and private strategies and governance can gear these dynamics towards increased food security and sustainability by changing the stakeholders’ range of options in terms of the diversity and affordability of proposed food items and formats. Food security is considered through the traditional dimensions of availability, access and quality (including nutritional balance), while food sustainability encompasses the limitation of negative impacts on the environment (depletion of natural resources,  health, employment and income.

Background

It is now widely accepted that the increase in food production alone is not sufficient to ensure adequate food security, especially in developing regions. Furthermore, there are increasing concerns relating to the inadequate nutritional status due to imbalance and a lack of diversity in people’s diets in developed as well as developing and emerging economies, which is giving rise to the triple burden of malnutrition: the co-existence of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overnutrition, and immense social and economic costs. The relationship between consumption patterns and the depletion of natural resources is another matter for concern, in particular with regard to meat and fats (which are also singled out in terms of nutritional impacts).

Consumer behavior is influenced not only by the individuals’ socio-economic profiles and the information available, but also by their modes of access to various food sources. Conversely, food suppliers’ strategies are influenced not only by economic motives but also by the feedback they receive from consumers and the civil society. The development of agri-business as well as ICTs may favor information transfer and investment in logistics, but their economic and social impacts are, as yet, little documented. Likewise, the circular and bio-economies may take a variety of forms, with varying economic and social impacts.

Keynote speakers

We are pleased to announce that Professors Christopher B. Barrett (Cornell University) and Claude Ménard (Université de Paris Panthéon Sorbonne) are confirmed keynote speakers.

Organization

The seminar is organized by the joint research unit Moisa (Marchés, Organisations, Institutions et Stratégies d’Acteurs) which gathers lecturers and researchers from Cirad, Iamm, Inra and Supagro. We expect around 150 participants.

The 3 days seminar with parallel sessions will last from the morning of Wednesday, May 15 until midday of Friday, May 17. A dinner will be organized in the evening of the first day and a fieldtrip in the afternoon of the last day.

Location

The seminar will take place in the green campus of Montpellier SupAgro, 2 place
Pierre Viala, Montpellier.