Bettina Rudloff, Christine Wieck · 2020
German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

Sustainable Supply Chains in the Agricultural Sector: Adding Value Instead of Just Exporting Raw Materials

The corona pandemic has placed supply chains back on the agenda. The economic repercussions spotlight the complexity of today’s global division of labour. Current German and European initiatives are seeking to tighten the responsibility of final business consumers for human rights and sustainability in their supply chains. The objective is to enforce sustainable production in sovereign third countries. In the case of agriculture these explicitly supply chain–based approaches need to be backed up by improvements in the European Union’s trade, investment and agricultural policies. Influencing agricultural supply chains in such a way as to overcome their specific sustainability and human rights problems will require all approaches to be combined. Currently, conventional approaches treat supply chains in isolation, and only address imports flowing into the EU. As such, they consider developing countries exclusively in their traditional role as suppliers of raw agricultural commodities and ignore options for increasing local value added and fostering development.

Full publication is available on: DOI doi:10.18449/2020C43

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Bettina Rudloff

Bettina Rudloff
German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP)

Bettina Rudloff is an agricultural engineer and holds a PhD in agricultural economics. She started her research work on trade, agriculture and development at the European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Maastricht, the Netherlands. During that time, she led mid-term vocational training programmes of the EU Commission for developing countries‘ WTO negotiators, and consulted agricultural officials of Mediterranean partner countries and EU officials on trade, agriculture and fisheries. After a subsequent Assistant Professorship at the Institute for Food and Ressource Economis/University of Bonn, she became Senior Associate at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in 2008. Here she works on EU trade and investment rules at all levels of regulatory regimes, i.e. multi-, and bilateral agreements, supplementing initiatives such as voluntary partnership agreements and analysing the scope for tariff and regulatory rules to support sustainability. More recently, she has been exploring the impacts of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) along the whole value chain on developing countries and has analyzed coherent approaches to support food systems resilience. She addresses different agricultural value chains, most recently soy, palm oil, and cocoa.

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