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Beyond Logistics: Optimising Food Distribution

Access to fresh and affordable food, especially vegetables and fruits, has been a major concern in food systems. Despite emerging tech platforms that facilitate household purchase and delivery, moving food from farm to market continues to be beset with major problems. From the Independent Dialogue that IISLA conducted for the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit last May, small-scale producers and other food system actors in the Philippines have expressed the challenge of finding suitable and affordable transportation services that could cater to smaller volumes of crops. This has been exploited by some viajeros (traders-cum-transporters), who have been demanding unsustainable monocrop harvest at cheaper farmgate price, undermining the livelihood of smallholder farmers. Moreover, the lack of proper and sustainable packaging as well as of affordable warehousing and cold storage facilities have resulted in reduced shelf life of crops before they even reach retail markets. Hence, the simultaneous existence of crop wastage and food scarcity in the same province or region has become prevalent, especially during the pandemic when transportation was limited. How can we better deliver food from farm to table to ensure fair income for producers whilst ensuring affordable prices for consumers? How can we optimise the capacity of MSMEs in providing affordable transportation, packaging, and storage services towards more efficient food distribution?

Join us as we build up on the previous discussions about sustainable production and healthy consumption by highlighting the role of other value chain actors in fostering food security.

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