Supply Chains of the Food Industry

27-28 June 2022

About the Event

We believe it is necessary to rethink the issue of food supply chains fundamentally from a sustainable development perspective and, therefore, team up with the Bavarian State Research Center for Agriculture (LfL).

The German government's Supply Chain Due Diligence Act (LkSG) aims to oblige companies to establish robust environmental and social standards along the entire supply chain to counteract the exploitation of people and nature as the basis of our prosperity. By anchoring ethical issues in commercial law, social fairness and environmental justice can be transformed from lip service to an international requirement and finally into an effective reality. Even in the draft law, however, environmental issues did not play a sufficient role. The focus was and still is on social aspects - fairness - along the supply chain. Since humans do not exist independently of their natural environment, human rights must always consider nature’s rights.

Agricultural production in particular faces new challenges with the entry into force of the LkSG, which add to those of the current structural change in agriculture. These range from transparency in consumer communication to additional economic pressure and are particularly heavy for small and medium-sized farms, which are often suffering under a combination of regulations and other environmental requirements. For them, additional economic burdens arise from social and ecological improvements. In social discussions and reporting, this quickly leads to dystopian images of the future for agriculture.

Therefore, it is time for new narratives. We believe it is appropriately important to discuss the issue of food supply chains fundamentally and from the perspective of sustainable development, i.e. to consider ecological aspects in addition to economic and social ones. This is where legal issues come into play, which define the scope of action in the future implementation of the LkSG to a large extent, and contribute to strengthening the resilience of agriculture and the environment through fairness along the supply chains of the food industry.

The event was supported by

Workshop Report will be published shortly.