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WORKSHOP REPORT: Food Value Chain Consultations - Consultative workshop on sustainable food value chain focusing on food processing, manufacturing and retail

  • Published on October 13, 2021

Workshop objectives:

  • Introduce the value-chain approach as adopted by the One Planet-International Resources Panel Task Group.

  • Provide key findings of the analysis of the food value chain with the focus on processing, manufacturing and retail.

  • Understand the role of the processing/manufacturing companies and retailers in the food value chain and its dependencies on other stages.

  • Understand what initiatives/solutions currently exist at this stage of the food value chain to:

define the opportunities for their scale-up and replication;
identify gaps and challenges to be addressed;

resource efficiency of the food sector.


The application of the ‘Value-Chain Approach’ to analyse the food sector showed that the middle stages of the food value chain -- controlled by food companies across processing and packaging, retail and food services -- are structurally powerful and have a disproportionate influence across both primary production and final consumption. Actors at these stages have a huge impact on the activities at either end in determining both what food farmers sell and what food consumers buy.

Processing/manufacturing companies are in a powerful strategic position and strongly influence what food is produced and consumed. Shift to local processing units that implement soft processing techniques, and are able to value local species and seasonal raw materials should be considered. Enabling policy environment that is coherent at national and local levels is important for this shift.

Retail industry has a strong strategic position (interaction with both farmers, processing/manufacturing companies and consumers). Actions that support sustainable sourcing/reliable certification schemes, reduction and avoidance of food loss and waste, extended contractual relationship with suppliers and joint action towards raising awareness and education of consumers is important in order to leverage the retail industry towards sustainable production and consumption along the food value chain.

Middle stages of the food value chain are represented by both consolidated and vertically integrated big companies as well as SMEs. Policy measures adapted to the realities of each that enable the shift to sustainable consumption and production of food should be considered.

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