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Food Beyond Convenience

Convenience stores and big supermarkets have significantly improved the accessibility of food, especially in cities. However, the volatility and the overall increasing trend of food prices in these distribution channels make it difficult for consumers, especially the poor, to afford healthy meals. On the other end of the value chain are smallholder farmers and rural food micro-entrepreneurs who are suffering more from hunger despite comprising 85 percent of food producers globally, given that poverty in rural areas is about three times higher than in the urban centers. This implies the inability of small-scale food producers to earn a decent living from their livelihoods despite high food prices. The Philippines Statistics Authority reports, for example, that the increase in the farmgate price of rice in the country is about 50% lower than that of the increase in its retail price between 2011 and 2018. Who is financially benefitting from the food value chain then? How “long” is it in the first place, and who are the actors in between the producers and the consumers? And is there a way to link farmers more directly to the buyers so we can increase farmgate prices while reducing the cost to consumers? How will this affect “convenience” in food access?

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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