The purpose of the project is to assess the potential role of food supply chains in the enhancement of sustainable food production and rural development by identifying critical points in food supply chains which currently constrain the further dissemination of sustainable production and recommend actions that are likely to enhance the prospects for sustainable food markets. Specific attention will be given to factors related to the organisational structure of food supply chains and interactions between stages of the chain.
The five main objectives are:
- Mapping and understanding the diversity of definitions of sustainability in food supply chains and examining whether there is any emerging consensus regarding sustainability claims in food supply chains;
- Ordering this diversity by identifying the most widely occurring bottlenecks and constraints in the development of more sustainable food chains;
- Examining the different ways to co-ordinate and transmit sustainability characteristics in food supply chains and assessing the capacity for collective action in enhancing the prospects for sustainability in food supply chains;
- Developing performance indicators and other methods that indicate the collective performance of the chain as a whole in relation to sustainability and transparency in food markets; and
- Formulating policy recommendations to institutions at different levels to help overcome the bottlenecks that inhibit the wider
development of the market for more sustainable farm products.