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Maximizing the effectiveness of food value chains

27 Jun 2019

An APO conference in Bangkok reviewed food supply chain activities and identified new strategies.

Food supply chains involve multiple processes and parties, from agricultural production, processing, and distribution to sales to consumers. The interrelated activities of actors throughout the supply chain are required to create or add value to the final products. Food value chains are a strategic approach to maximize product value and appeal to customers, leading to business success, financial stability, and social benefit. In addition, with the world population forecast to reach 10 billion by 2050, food security issues and the business opportunities they offer are current topics of global interest.

In cooperation with the Thailand Productivity Institute (FTPI), the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) organized the Asian Food and Agribusiness Conference: Smart Food Value Chains in Bangkok, 11–13 June 2019, to review activities along food supply chains and identify new strategies for value addition. Smart agricultural technologies, food distribution and management innovations, marketing approaches, and the importance of strategic alliances for value maximization were among the topics examined. One session focused on foresight, emerging food trends, how disruptive technologies could change agricultural production, and potential new models for agrifood value chains.

Forty-three senior government officials responsible for planning or developing food value chains, CEOs and senior managers of agrifood industries, and senior consultants on value addition and the creation of agrifood products from 13 APO member countries attended. The APO assigned six international resource persons from Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, and USA to give presentations, chair the conference sessions, lead plenary discussions, and engage in a panel discussion. Three Thai resource persons selected by the FTPI also spoke at the conference and participated in discussion sessions.

While many in attendance cited the time constraints on covering numerous topics in a three-day event, the resource persons noted that all made the most of opportunities to engage in discussions and share knowledge. A comment from Economic Planning Officer Aqela D.T. Ratumudu, of Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture, was typical: “It was a very useful conference for me and gave many ideas on what I would like to undertake in my country in regard to smart food value chains. I certainly enjoyed the networking and sharing experiences with everyone.”

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