Towards more sustainable agri-food chains: a new conceptual framework

Marianne Hubeau, Koen Mondelaers, Ine Coteur, Fleur Marchand, Ludwig Lauwers

Onderzoeksoutput: Hoofdstuk in Boek/Rapport/CongresprocedureC1: Artikels in proceedings van wetenschappelijke congressen, die niet inbegrepen zijn in A1, A2, A3 of P1

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Due to pressures such as climate change, globalization, price volatility and scarcity of natural resources, the Flemish agri-food chain is urged to make a transition towards more sustainable production. How to organize such a transition, given the various stakeholders involved, and how to monitor progress still remain important challenges. This paper presents a new conceptual framework that follows an integrated chain approach to help address these challenges. First, it tackles the complex ecological and socio-economic challenges along the chain and its members (agriculture and food industries), and second, allows for decision support to chain members and policy.
This framework combines two existing theoretical frameworks. The first framework is global chain value analysis (GCVA) of Gereffi (2005) which has its roots in institutional economics. GCVA categorizes five governance types of value chains (markets – modular – relational – captive – hierarchy) based on three variables: (i) the complexity of information and knowledge transfer required to sustain a particular transaction, (ii) the ability to regulate transactions, and (iii) the capabilities of actual and potential suppliers. The second framework, which was first formulated in ecological economics by Lawn (2001), extends the set of traditional economic resources to various forms of capital in the production system. These are natural (land, water,…), manufactured (buildings, machinery,...), human (labour, skills,…), and social capital (networks,…). The economic system is embedded in the social system which in turn is embedded in the finite ecological system. Throughput of natural, social, human, and manufactured capital allows for the description of agri-food systems in terms of the maximal sustainable use of their stocks and flows.
These two frameworks can be combined to perform an integrated system analysis of the agri-food chain, including the governance structures and the boundary conditions as for example the maximum sustainable use of the various capitals. This paper describes this new conceptual framework illustrated by means of a case study of the agri-food chain in Flanders, Belgium.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
TitelIFSA Conference proceedings
Aantal pagina’s12
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 1-apr.-2014
Evenement11th European IFSA Symposium - Berlijn, Duitsland
Duur: 1-apr.-20144-apr.-2014


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