Special Issue "Sustainable Agri-Food Systems: Environment, Economy, Society and Policy"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.
Interests: sustainability; sustainable agriculture; sustainable food systems; sustainable diets; food losses and waste; food security; food policy.
Interests: systems thinking applied to sustainable food systems; organic food systems; out of home food systems
Food systems encompass all the elements (environment, people, inputs, infrastructures, institutions, etc.) and activities that relate to the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food as well as the outputs of these activities. A food system is sustainable when its socioeconomic and environmental outcomes do not compromise the economic, social, and environmental bases for future generations. Over the last few decades, food systems have been central in the debate on sustainable development, such as in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Indeed, food systems are under an unprecedented confluence of pressures and lie at the center of a global nexus of environmental, social, and economic problems, as humanity faces the challenge of achieving sustainable food security in the face of ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss, resource scarcity, human population growth, and climate change. On the one hand, food systems are among the main contributors to sustainability challenges, such as land degradation, climate change, biodiversity loss, etc. On the other hand, they are dramatically affected by these challenges facing humanity. Moreover, the dysfunction of modern food systems is a major cause of several societal issues such as food insecurity and malnutrition, rural poverty and livelihood vulnerability, and social inequality. These challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has highlighted the unsustainability and vulnerability of modern food systems and caused an impending global food emergency (e.g., increase in food losses and waste, food export restrictions, panic buying and stock-outs, surge in food insecurity, deterioration of nutritional and health status). This has all culminated in different calls for the transformation of food systems and their transition toward sustainability at different levels (global, regional, national, local). While some initiatives focus on single stages of the food chain (e.g., sustainable agriculture, sustainable diets), others are more systemic and holistic (e.g., short food supply chains, alternative food networks, reduction of food losses and waste). The diversity of the proposed transition strategies and approaches stems, among others, from differences in the definition, conceptualization, and assessment of sustainability in agri-food systems. What is clear is that transition toward sustainable food systems also implies transforming food policy and governance.
This Special Issue addresses but is not limited to the following topics:
- Conceptualization, design, and operationalization of sustainable food systems at different levels (global, regional, national, city-region, local);
- Methods, approaches, and models for the assessment of agri-food sustainability in food systems (production/agriculture, processing, distribution, consumption, waste management);
- Sustainability transitions in agri-food systems (theories, frameworks, models, good practices, and promising initiatives);
- New generation of food policies (integrated, multisectoral) and governance models (inclusive, multi-stakeholder, reflexive) for sustainable food systems;
- Food systems in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
- Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the functioning, performance and resilience of agri-food systems.
Dr. Hamid El Bilali
Prof. Dr. Carola Strassner
Dr. Tarek Ben Hassen
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- sustainability transitions
- sustainable consumption and production
- sustainable food systems
- sustainable agriculture
- sustainable diets
- sustainable processing
- food waste
- sustainability assessment
- food policy
- food governance
- food security
- food system resilience
- climate change