The food sector is the largest economic sector in the European Union (CIAA, 2005). It consists of a complex, global and dynamically changing network of trade streams, food supply network relations and related product flows (Fritz, Schiefer, 2008a). Food supply networks are subject to dynamically changing circumstances, which include fluctuations at primary production due to changes in weather or climate, impacting supply and demand and prices, and also impacting the quality of raw material, variations in food consumption due to seasonality or the westernization of diets in Asia (see e.g. OECD-FAO, 2006, Pingali, 2006), the development of alternative uses of raw material such as bio-fuel, and, not the least, from changing attitudes of society towards the consequences of the food system’s activities for environmental, social and economic issues, captured in the term of “sustainability” (Aiking, de Boer, 2004).


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