Emerging Research and Public Policy Issues for a Sustainable Global Food Network

This paper presents research questions and policy issues related to three emerging issues pertinent to developments in the global food and agricultural supply network. Developments in the production and delivery of food to consumers are rapid, prolific, and extreme. We have gone from a farmer-centric to a consumer-centric food system. The changes are forcing us to revise our thinking about the organization and operation of the food supply chain one-hundred and eighty degrees, to challenge old assumptions about who sets standards and who decides what will be produced. Public policies, which typically lag the world of commerce, will need to learn their relevance and catch-up with dramatic changes in the way business is being conducted. Three examples come to mind: 1. In a world of efficient food delivery the network of companies that makes that happen takes on a global importance that often exceeds the impact of publicly negotiated trade agreements. In a world where supermarkets create the quality and safety standards (specifications) for food purchased within a country and for export, the role of public standard setting agencies wanes but does not stop. 2. Issues related to hunger exist in tandem with issues related to obesity. Both are a challenge to public policies designed to foster healthy diets and healthy people. Meanwhile, in the quest healthy solutions we see the ability to design and target foods and diets for various human geno-types. New public health and ethics policies will need to be addressed as these technologies are commercialized. 3. In some circles “food security” now means defending food and food systems from deliberate contamination by terrorists. Tightening access to food production, processing and transportation routes presents new challenges to domestic tranquility and to international trade.


Issue Date:
2005
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/14298
Total Pages:
23
Series Statement:
Working Paper 05-04




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-04

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