Should African farmers be looking to tap into the globalised agro-industrial complex of supermarket supply chains, to create these markets at home or to provide (and mainstream) the ‘fair trade’/‘organic’/’traditional’ alternative?
Pereira Transforming the agri food industry to develop rural livelihoods under global change
Transforming the agri-food industry to develop rural livelihoods under global changeLaura Pereira- FAC Early Career FellowYoung People, Farming and Food Conference: International Conferenceon the future of the agrifood sector in AfricaAccra, Ghana: 19th -21st March 2012
Outline• The Private Sector• ‘Waves of consumerism’• South Africa as a case study – Procurement policies – Innovation• Conclusions
The Private Sector• Food system is undergoing multiple transformations• Growth and Globalisation of agri-food companies – Concentration of Power• Profit-maximisation vs Rural Livelihood Development agenda Figure 1: A simplified schema of agribusiness in the food system
Waves of Consumerism in the West• Industrialisation, mechanisation and urbanisation – Haber-Bosch process 1909 – Food produced to feed a growing urban population not working the land themselves – ‘Green Revolution’-esque• Establishment of supermarkets – Schumpeter’s Disruptive competition – Consumer culture transformed – Rapid growth – Universally applicable
Waves of consumerism contd.• Globalisation of supermarkets – Multinational food corporations – Disconnect between food’s consumption and its production• The ‘Alternative food’ movement – Trust = Certified local, organic, Fair Trade… – WTO SPS standards of ‘safe’ – GlobalG.A.P and retailer standards• Transforming how farmers farm – How does the African food system respond?
South Africa• Microcosm of international trends – Leader in agribusiness on the continent with a well- established retail sector together with apartheid legacy of rural underdevelopmentSouth Africa retailers has a triple prerogative regarding the food system: – To ensure development and job creation in order to establish a viable customer base – To build a successful food sector through creating and sourcing products that meet not only the requirements of customers, international food safety requirements, but that are also socially acceptable for an ‘African context’ (Malan 2005). – To ensure that these above objectives are resilient under pressure form global environmental change.
Procurement policies• Under increasing uncertainty around climate change, they are spreading the risks of sourcing – Within South Africa to smallscale farmers • Skills and capacity development • Logistics (transport, storage etc.) – Into the rest of Africa• Skills development – ‘Buddy’ system – Sustainable farming
Innovation• Mitigation and Adaptation• Product development – E.g. Climate resilient crops: Morvite, Cassava beer,• Multi-stakeholder approaches (e.g. Business fights poverty) – Tackling poverty through strategic business initiatives
Conclusions• International trends in consumerism are affecting African agriculture• Africa needs to forge its own stages of food consumption that invigorates its rural areas• Key take-home: If businesses are truly concerned with developmental/environmental concerns, then they need to create markets for what farmers can and want to grow rather than forcing them to meet ever-more stringent requirements through certification etc.• BUT Power dynamics are still important