Contesting the Food System in South Africa: Issues and Opportunities

"Rising food prices have become a growing concern globally and in southern Africa. In South Africa, where food availability is not an issue at present, the response has been to try to improve access to food, mostly through the provision of grants and food aid (e.g. school feeding schemes). There is a lesser emphasis on widening the base of food production, since the dominant idea is that the existing system is able to meet food needs. This report widens the debate about food production and distribution in South Africa to consider some of the entrenched power dynamics that shape the way these happen, and to consider whether a more radical transformation of the agro-food system is required to ensure adequate access to food for all. A useful approach to considering food production and distribution is the value chain approach. Value chain studies emphasise corporate strategies in structuring the flow of agro-food commodities."