Food Chains and Ecosystem Services Through a Resilience Lens
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Agro-food chains are a coupled social-ecological system (SES). The actors involved in the agro-food chain (farmers, processing, distribution and retail industries, consumers) take decisions that feed back into the different components of the food chain as well as into the agroecosystem within which they are embedded. In the light of global warming and limited natural resources, it is imperative to build resilient agro-food chains that ensure food security and the integrity of the ecosystems. Resilience is the ability of a system to maintain its structure and functions and to reorganize itself in the face of the disturbance. Using a resilience thinking approach, this chapter proposes a framework to analyse the links between the mechanisms put in place within an agro-food chain to foster resilience and their impacts in terms of ecosystem services and the wider socio-economic effects on the socio-ecological system as a whole. The framework has been tested in a typical Mediterranean context, analysing an olive oil chain over the last 60 years.
KeywordsAgro-food chain resilience Socio-ecological systems Ecosystem services Olive farming
The study was partially funded by the iSQAPER project, funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme for research & innovation under grant agreement no 635750.
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