What are sustainable value chains?

Have you ever asked yourself where the things you buy come from? Or how and by whom they are produced? What materials are they made out of?

These are some of the questions we can ask ourselves to be more aware of how a product can impact the environment. But before we get into the depth of our lesson, let’s take a moment to understand some of the key-concepts.

Sustainability:

Natural resources are limited. If we want to ensure future life on Earth, we cannot exhaust our natural ecosystems. This is essentially the idea of sustainability: our way of life today should not jeopardize our lives and those of future generations.

For something to be considered sustainable it must involve 3 dimensions in a balanced way: the social, environmental and economic aspects.

What is the value chain of a good?

Have you ever thought about why most people prefer buying products of a brand they already know? There are many different reasons, but it can often be because of the product’s value chain. The value chain is the process the product goes through all the way from the point of production to when it is bought by the consumer – “From farm to fork”.  Prices of goods are also defined through the product value chain.

The graphic below outlines some aspect of a product’s value chain:

What factors influence sustainable production systems?

How do we transition from today to a future with more sustainable production systems?

What are some of the main challenges in agricultural production?

A future perspective – what role can you play?