ALID - Systèmes Alimentaires Durables

Sustainable, local or localised, innovative food chains – ILLIAD

Development of sustainable food systems

There are technical and organisational bottlenecks to the development of sustainable food systems. ILLIAD aims to understand the effects of the organisation of food systems on their sustainability, and to propose innovations in the food chains of organic bread wheat, rice, peaches and apricots.

How the organisation of food systems helps their sustainability.

Since many years, the sustainability of industrial food system is questioned by consumers and public authority. Various alternative food systems have been developed in order to have less negative outcomes on environment, economics or society. However, technical or organisational brakes threaten the ability of these alternative food systems to stay or to develop, and so their sustainability. <br />ILLIAD proposes a method to analyse the sustainability of food systems, taking into account the consequences of their organisation on sustainability. This method will allow to propose organisational innovations that increase their sustainability, for instance through the development of a new exchange system of turd between farmers for organic bread wheat production, or coordination between stakeholders of «Rice of Camargue« (protected geographical indication). This method will also allow to propose simultaneously technical and organisational innovations, as new agronomic practices for organic peaches, as well commercial innovations; or the mechanisation of apricots' harvest and the development of a food chain for these apricots.

The sustainability of food systems has been defined in terms of their effects on environment, economics and society, until now. ILLIAD aims to propose a method that allow to take into account the ability of these food systems to stay or develop, in the long run, or their ability to increase their positive effects on environment, economics and society.
ILLIAD proposes a new method to study food systems, based on economical or managerial methods that analyse food chains. This method will allow to define indicators of system sustanibility, that will be used and tested in the four practical cases studied in the project ILLIAD (organic bread wheat, Rice of Camargue, organic peaches, mechanical harvest of apricots).

The project just begins : no results yet.

The project just begins : no perspectives yet.

The project just begins : no scientific articles yet.

Since the end of World War II, the green revolution has been going on. Consumers would buy products coming from all around the world, with no synchrony with seasons, and produced with an intense use of pesticides. For about ten years, food chains sustainability has been questioned by political organisms and consumers now tend to promote alternative and eco-friendly food chain models, economically stable and socially acceptable.
These alternative food chains encounter bottlenecks, e.g. a lack of technical knowledge in case of organic food. This raises the question of the ability of current sustainable food chains to stay sustainable. ILLIAD aims i) to propose a methodology to analyze the system sustainability of food chains; ii) to test it through the analysis of different food chains ; iii) to use it to propose organizational and technical innovations in the food chains of bread wheat and rice (which cover a high part of human food), peach and apricot.
The project, which can be classified in the 2nd axis as defined by the ANR, for a requested grant of 888k€, will take place during a 48 months period, including 4 harvesting seasons in order to get rid of climatic vagary and obtain usable results. The consortium gathers all the abilities necessary to answer these sustainable food chain issues: researchers in management (UMR MOISA, coord; CIRAD and IAMM), agronomy (UE Gotheron), genetics (UGAFL), product quality and processing (UMR SQPOV); technical advisors in organic agronomy (ITAB). The consortium will lean upon subcontractors, whose skills are recognized not only in technical terms but also for their knowledge of the food chains and their actors: CA Drôme, SEFRA, SICA CENTREX, ELSA Platform, CASRAD, CIVAM gard, conseil des équidés.
ILLIAD aims firstly to propose a set of indicators on the system sustainability. This set will be defined with the help of the results of the SUS-CHAIN project, improved with the work of Fresco (2009) on the sustainable food system, the researches on local agri-food systems and research in food chain analysis. Then the ILLIAD's practical cases allow to test the set of indicators in the three typical trajectories of constructing sustainable food chains chain innovation (stone fruits); chain differentiation (rice), territorial embedding (wheat).
For each of the studied food chains, technical and organizational innovations will be proposed : i) wheat bread : ILLIAD develops a territorial exchange system of animal turd and feed for animals between organic farmers (bread wheat and animals) and equastrian centers. This system is expected to reduce bottlenecks of organic farming (e.g. nitrogen nutrition of bread wheat). ii) rice: ILLIAD proposes guidelines for stakeholders and policy-makers to increase the environmental and economic sustainability of a geographical indication. The rice protected geographical indication set in 2000, reduces use of chemicals but didn't give significant pricing advantages. iii) peaches: ILLIAD develops new alternative food chains characterized by low-input or organic practices, short marketing channels (catering or direct sales to far consumers) and various dates of harvest. These food chains are expected to have positive effect on health, environment (peaches receive 20 to 33 yearly treatments) and profitability. Iv) apricot: ILLIAD develops alternative food chains similar to the peaches case but also a specific chain dedicated to processing. This food chain is expected to have a positive effect on nutritional and taste quality of processed orchards (apricot's dual purpose implies low quality inputs for industry). The project explores the conditions and consequences of this dedicated orchards from technical to economics.
With the help of chambers of agriculture and LRIA, the consortium will disseminate these results to the attention of different actors in food chain through various communication modes: scientific articles, news paper articles, workshops, conferences etc.

Project coordinator

INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE - CENTRE DE MONTPELLIER (Divers public)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE - PACA - CENTRE DE RECHERCHE D'AVIGNON
CIHEAM - IAMM
INSTITUT TECHNIQUE DE L' AGRICULTURE BIOLOGIQUE (ITAB)
CENTRE DE COOPERATION INTERNATIONALE EN RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT - CIRAD - DEPARTEMENT ES
CIHEAM - INSTITUT AGRONOMIQUE MEDITERRANEEN DE MONTPELLIER ( IAMM)
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE - PACA - CENTRE DE RECHERCHE D'AVIGNON
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE - PACA - CENTRE DE RECHERCHE D'AVIGNON
INSTITUT NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE AGRONOMIQUE - CENTRE DE MONTPELLIER

Help of the ANR 837,057 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2011 - 48 Months

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