Food waste reduction and food poverty alleviation: a system dynamics conceptual model

Published on Jun 1, 2019in Agriculture and Human Values3.13
· DOI :10.1007/s10460-019-09919-0
Francesca Galli8
Estimated H-index: 8
(UniPi: University of Pisa),
Alessio Cavicchi11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Macerata),
Gianluca Brunori18
Estimated H-index: 18
(UniPi: University of Pisa)
The contradictions between food poverty affecting a large section of the global population and the everyday wastage of food, particularly in high income countries, have raised significant academic and public attention. All actors in the food chain have a role to play in food waste prevention and reduction, including farmers, food manufacturers and processors, caterers and retailers and ultimately consumers. Food surplus redistribution is considered by many as a partial solution to food waste reduction and food poverty mitigation, while others criticize charitable initiatives as inadequate responses, that inhibit governments from responsibly protecting the citizens right to food. This paper frames food assistance as “hybrid systems”, situating at the intersection of territorial food, public welfare and third sector voluntary systems. Based on available literature and reflections on previous research examining food banks in Italy, we develop a system dynamics conceptual mapping. The aim is to model a set of relations and dynamic mechanisms associated with variables relevant to food waste generation, food recovery for social purposes and food poverty alleviation. The analysis of feedback interactions highlights the (actual and potential) vulnerabilities of food assistance systems that occur when addressing food poverty by reducing food surplus. In summary, as the awareness on food poverty and food surplus arises, incentives to food recovery and redistribution strengthen the role of (voluntary) food assistance actors, increasing their exposure to drivers of change, such as retailers’ standards for food surplus prevention. This paper contributes to the current academic debate on charitable food assistance, with insights for policy makers and other systems’ actors.
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#1Francesca Galli (UniPi: University of Pisa)H-Index: 8
#2Aniek Hebinck (University of Oxford)H-Index: 1
Last.Brídín Carroll (Government of Ireland)H-Index: 1
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#1Meike Rombach (TUM: Technische Universität München)H-Index: 2
#2Vera Bitsch (TUM: Technische Universität München)H-Index: 9
Last.Francesco Ricchieri (TUM: Technische Universität München)H-Index: 1
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#1A Cánovas Creus (UFRJ: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)H-Index: 1
#2A. Bernstad Saraiva (UFRJ: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)H-Index: 2
Last.Ef Arruda (UFRJ: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)H-Index: 1
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#1Sedef Sert (Polytechnic University of Milan)H-Index: 3
#2Paola Garrone (Polytechnic University of Milan)H-Index: 12
Last.Alessandro Perego (Polytechnic University of Milan)H-Index: 6
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#1Aniek Hebinck (Stockholm Resilience Centre)H-Index: 3
#2Francesca Galli (UniPi: University of Pisa)H-Index: 8
Last.H.A. Oostindië (WUR: Wageningen University and Research Centre)H-Index: 9
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#1Dianna Smith (University of Southampton)H-Index: 11
#2Claire Thompson (Lond: University of London)H-Index: 5
Last.Nicola SheltonH-Index: 1
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