Changing Food Systems and Inequality: Implications for Food Security and Public Policy

Changing Food Systems and Inequality: Implications for Food Security and Public Policy
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Andrew Guinn | Danny Hamrick

In today’s world, national food systems are deeply interlinked through patterns of trade and investment that are often referred to as global value chains (GVCs). An important feature of value chains is the role played by powerful lead rms – large food processing rms, trading companies, and national and multinational retail and restaurant chains – in setting the terms by which farmers may participate in the food system. In this report, we draw out the implications of the globalization and consolidation of agri-food value chains for inequality by showing global pressures combine with local and national conditions to produce outcomes which exacerbate economic, gender and urban-rural inequalities. By focusing on four BRICSAM nations (Brazil, India, Mexico, and South Africa), this report shows how current national policy responses have limited success in addressing inequality due to the growing global power of multinational actors and a corresponding shift in the governance of the food system away from government-driven national development strategies towards corporate pro t- seeking interests, which oftentimes do not align with the goals of a more inclusive food system and secure access to nutritious food for all.

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