European agricultural policy has undergone profound changes during the past decade. The nucleus of this reform has been the transformation of the agricultural and food policy from a producer centred perspective of agriculture to a more market and consumer oriented food chain approach. Such a systemic perspective calls for a stronger and systematic integration of the more demand-oriented policy fields of food, consumer and public health policy as well as of elements of politics of sustainable development along the whole food chain. The paper analyzes the reasons and consequences of these developments, and calls for an integrated “food chain politics” approach. Implications for the future design of practical and academic agricultural policy are drawn.