Creating Inclusive Food Supply Chains

Participants at the Future of Food & Agriculture Workshop in Munich, Germany on February 18-19 — which XPRIZE co-hosted with the WFP Innovation Accelerator — had several ideas for creating more inclusive food supply chains, which is one of the challenges XPRIZE identified in the Future of Food Impact Roadmap:

Our ideas for breakthroughs centered on two areas:

  • Enhancing livelihoods of smaller-scale family farms: Securing a “just transition” for small-scale farmers to maximize equity and economic opportunity within the context of rapid and large-scale changes occurring to local, regional, and global systems.
  • Optimizing fair economic opportunities along the food value chain: The food value chain in most countries has traditionally favored highly consolidated, vertically integrated actors. Re-aligning these systems to provide fair economic opportunities is crucial for inclusive food economies, social and economic equity, and development.

Attendees at the workshop argued for:

  • Linking small farmers to urban/city centers
  • Must include farmers (and youth farmers specifically) in solutions
  • Digital solutions driving data-driven insights
  • Value addition activities
  • Integrate research organizations with small-holder farmers
  • Supply-chain integration to improve livelihoods
  • Open-source seeds
  • Blockchain solutions

We’d love to hear more detail, and invite other members of the community to join the discussion!

One of the relevant breakthroughs from our Impact Roadmap would be “Food System Data Trust”:

I imagine this could leverage blockchain solutions (although I’m by no means a blockchain expert!).

Personally, I’m unclear on what “value addition activities” means, so I’m keen to learn more about that.

@NickOttens “value addition” is around different activities along the supply chain where food is processed and “value is added” as it is refined into different products. the issue is that small-scale farmers aren’t usually involved in more lucrative processing activities that increase the value of their output. for example, selling wheat vs. making flour vs. baking bread have very different margins.

finding ways for smallholders to participate in these types of activities, instead of it being dominated by larger-scale companies, could have major livelihood implications.