WG3. Distribution, commercialization and access to quality foods

Commerce networks with their different forms (markets, supermarkets, fairs, etc) which connect producers with consumers are necessary for populations' access to food. At the global level, there is growing interest in alternative food networks (short chains, producer fairs, food pockets) for local and responsible consumption and for organic or agro-ecological production, in response to the limitations of traditional commercial channels. These are approached from the perspective of their potential benefactors in terms of public health, social ties, economic viability for producers, territorial cohesion at a metropolitan scale and, in some cases, their lower environmental impact. However, who are the beneficiaries of such proposals? How do they generate new opportunities for producers and consumers and also differentiated forms of integration among actors? What happens to those producers that fail to join the value chains? What development alternatives are observed for those producers that are only partially integrated into the formal markets?

The purpose of this panel is to discuss the historical construction, social structuring, economic and environmental feasibility of complex production, distribution, and commercialization of fresh food for South and North American consumers. It attempts to open discussion about the type of commercial networks that bring solutions to the quandry: how to supply and feed 9 billion people in the most equitable way possible without putting ecosystems at risk. We propose reflecting on the actions of both intermediaries and new marketing actors (last kilometer, distribution, but also food banks, solidarity shops), on the coexistence of short circuits and long circuits, and on the roles of all kinds of platforms (wholesale markets, fairs, collection centers, internet networks, etc) in feeding an increasingly urban population. We seek to understand the tools with which commercial logistics can be a useful element to promote more equalitable food systems for territories (traceability, standardization, dematerialization, alternative currency systems, complementarity between local and regional networks, etc).


· Heterogeneity of actors in marketing and distribution

· Alternative feeding networks and inclusive chains

· Logistics, flows, transport, inequalities and inequalities

· Agricultores' marketing strategies

· Consumers, demand, and marketing and distribution systems