Unambiguously, preserving the ecosystem and securing sustainability is a very complex topic with several interlinked dimensions. Nevertheless, agro-food chains in the current economic system play a core role as the way they function can influence both producers and consumers. The seminar covers the topic using a broad approach, while focusing on sustainable food chains, and how they can influence agro-food production, and consumption as a whole. Special attention is given to the stakeholders’ power to support sustainability through the supply and demand of the ecosystem services. In addition, the role of climate change and environmental challenges in the supply and demand of the ecosystem services can be addressed from a food system point of view. Major emphasis is placed on institutions such as consumer-producer partnerships.
Sustainability prevails as one of the most significant policy objectives. A huge effort is devoted to establishing and supporting more sustainable agro-food chains, but stakeholders show limited involvement. At the same time, current challenges (climate change, high unemployment rates, economic and political turmoil) put a pressure on drafting a functional and effective plan for a sustainable food system. Agro-food chains as they function today can serve as powerful tools to facilitate the establishment of sustainable forms of agriculture, consumption and production embedded in a viable ecosystem. Hence, researchers, academicians and policy makers can exchange ideas, present methodologies and design collaborations on such crucial societal issues.
The main objective of this seminar is to bring together researchers and policy makers and establish the relation between agro-food chains and the preservation and provision of ecosystem services. In addition, environmental, methodological and societal issues will be tackled from a transaction perspective. The seminar’s outcome will provide extensive background on the topic for further applications and research.