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10 - A critical panorama of methods used to assess food sustainability

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2013

Catherine Esnouf
Affiliation:
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Paris
Marie Russel
Affiliation:
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Paris
Nicolas Bricas
Affiliation:
Centre de Co-opération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), Paris
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Summary

The duALIne project chose to examine the methods used to assess food sustainability in a chapter of its own, separate from the sectorial approaches presented previously, so that this examination could be as open as possible. This chapter focuses in particular on the specific issues posed by food vis-à-vis the methods currently used to measure sustainability. Under this approach, this chapter looks firstly at the complexity of food systems, then how the associated challenges of sustainability could be structured and finally presents some methods and indicators and the research questions they raise.

Introduction

Measuring performance has become a widespread activity in modern societies. It is the benchmark by which political and economic choices are regularly backed and/or justified. Performance indicators, whatever their objective, have seen exponential development, as have the operators who construct them. Assessing the performance of food systems through the prism of sustainable development is still a recent concern that requires in-depth reflection, both in terms of its scope and of the issue(s) to be assessed on the one hand, and regarding the choices of the sustainable challenges targeted or the assessment methods to be used on the other.

Type
Chapter
Information
Food System Sustainability
Insights From duALIne
, pp. 198 - 232
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

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