Sustainable food systems: do agricultural economists have a role?

L.O. Fresco, F.A. Geerling-Eiff, A.C. Hoes, L. van Wassenaer*, K.J. Poppe, J.G.A.J. van der Vorst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Are agricultural economists losing their relevance and significance in research on sustainable food systems? Could the world thrive without the contribution of agricultural economists? How could agricultural economists have more impact in addressing the grand challenges of our time? In this paper we address these questions by reflecting on the field of agricultural economics and re-examining the role and impact of agricultural economists. We argue that agricultural economists could raise their impact through better collaboration with other disciplines, stakeholder engagement and the adoption of a more systematic approach to the grand challenges, the innovation pathways and their disrupting developments in the data economy. We outline key topics in the economics of food systems on which agricultural economists could make major contributions and key areas in which methodological innovations are needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberjbab026
JournalEuropean Review of Agricultural Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • agricultural economics
  • data economy
  • Food systems


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