Understanding the mechanisms to strengthen food systems through value chain-driven action

Research output: Book/ReportReportProfessional


Food system frameworks and approaches are increasingly informing researchers, development practitioners, and policymakers on the sustainable and equitable development of food production, consumption, and the systemic context of these activities. However, there is a disconnect between food systems thinking and decision-making by private organizations in the food value chains themselves, who are indispensable in realizing food system change. Based on a review of food systems frameworks, we identify three drivers of this disconnect, namely (1) misalignment of public and private goals, (2) a mismatch between macro-level and meso- and micro-level activities and interventions, and (3) ultimately identify a need to make food system approaches relevant for value chain actors. Subsequently, based on interviews with actors in the research and policy domains as well as in private companies, we explore if this disconnect may be bridged. In doing so, we distinguish between smallholders, micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and large companies in the private sector. These actors vary considerably in terms of size, scope, resources and capabilities, take up a different position in the food system, and therefore also require different approaches to leverage their potential for food system change. We close with a discussion of several examples (from around the world) of successful efforts to leverage value chain action for the improvement offood system outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Food & Biobased Research
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameReport / Wageningen Food & Biobased Research


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