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The rise of a western-style middle class in many successful emerging economies like China currently is inducing deep structural changes on agricultural world markets and within the global agri-food business. As a result of both higher incomes and concerns over product safety and quality the global demand for high-quality and safe food products is increasing significantly. In order to meet the new required quality, globally minimum quality standards are rising and private standards emerging. All over the world these developments cause adjustments at the enterprise, chain and market levels. At the same time, the tremendously increasing demand for renewable energy has led to the emergence of a highly promising market for biomass production. This has far-reaching consequences for resource allocation in the agri-food business, for the environment, for the poor in developing countries and for agricultural policy reforms. The challenges increase with ongoing liberalisation, globalisation and standardisation, all of which change trade patterns for agricultural and food commodities, and influence production costs and commodity prices. The objective of the IAMO Forum is to show opportunities as well as risks for all participants of the food economy in the ongoing globalisation process: for small peasants in developing countries, farmers in Europe and globally active food enterprises and retailers. The success of enterprises depends on the ability to find innovative solutions with regard to the organisation of enterprises, chains, and markets, as well as future policy design. Concerning bio-energy strategies has to be identified to combat global warming most efficiently and concurrently attenuate the competition between "tank and table" on farmland. IAMO Forum 2008, as well as this book, would not have been possible without the engagement of many people and institutions. We thank the authors of the papers, as well as the referees. Furthermore we are highly indebted to MARLIES LOHR, NADINE GIEMSA and RONNY RECKE who in an outstanding way contributed to the organisation of the Forum. This is true as well for the IAMO administration, whose work we gratefully acknowledge. Many sponsors has funded the IAMO Forum 2008. We are very grateful to the German Research Foundation (DFG), The Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Production in Germany, The Ministry of Cultural Affairs of the Federal State Saxony-Anhalt, Germany and last but not least the City of Halle. Further Conference sponsors are the BIONADE Corporation, Gaensefurther Mineral Water, The Wine Growers Association of the Region Saale-Unstrut, Germany, Obsthof am Süßen See GmbH, Monsanto Company, KWS Saat AG, Sachsen-Anhalt-Tours, Baumkuchen Salzwedel and the Hallesches Brauhaus.


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