Insertion into global food value chains: boon or bane for developing countries?

Date: 22 October 2013

Venue: University of Antwerp, Stadscampus, R.002 - Rodestraat 14 - 2000 Antwerpen

Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Organization / co-organization: IOB, USOS, MO*

Short description: Debating Development: Miet Maertens (KULeuven, Belgium) and Arne Schollaert (Oxfam-Wereldwinkels, Belgium). Moderator: Maarten Lambrechts

Thanks to globalisation, global food production networks and trade have spread and fragmented: now more than ever, producers, buyers, wholesale sellers and consumers of food are physically separated, operating in different corners of the world. Growing attention to food safety standards, labour conditions and the environment is changing the ways these value chains operate and are governed. As developing countries become active participants in increasingly modernised food value chains, especially on the production side, questions arise about the welfare implications this participation brings.

Our keynote, Miet Maertens (KU Leuven) has conducted research which suggests that high-value food supply chains may hold significant benefits for rural households in developing countries. Arne Schollaert (Oxfam WW) will bring to the table critical questions about the concentration of power in modern food value chains and the far-from-optimal conditions under which producers participate.

Miet Maertens 
Miet Maertens is Professor of Bioeconomics at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering and a research fellow at LICOS (Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance), both of the KU Leuven. She holds Masters in Agricultural Engineering and Economics from the KU Leuven and a PhD degree from the Georg-August University of Göttingen. Ms Maertens's work includes research on land use, food standards, international trade and global value chains, with extensive fieldwork in South-East Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. She has published widely in internationally renowned journals and book volumes. A list of her publications and recent research projects she has been involved in can be found here.



Arne Schollaert
Arne Schollaert is Head of the Policy and Development department at Oxfam Wereldwinkels (‘World Shops’). He holds a PhD in Social Economics from the University of Ghent. Mr Schollaert has worked with Oxfam on various fair trade campaigns, including GROW!, Behind the Brand and World Fair Trade Day. In his writings, Mr Schollaert has drawn attention to the dominance of large firms and power concentration in food value chains.


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Attachment: Folder Debating Development