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

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.