• Trade and investment in fish and fish products between South Africa and the rest of SADC: Implications for food and nutrition security


    By Mafaniso Hara, Stephen Greenberg, Anne Marie Thow, Sloans Chimatiro and Andries du Toit, October 2017

    This paper looks at the dynamics of intra-regional trade and investment in fish and fish products between South Africa and the rest of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region, and the implications of this trade for food and nutrition security. It is based on key informant interviews with people in the food industry in South Africa and Africa regional economic bodies. Imports and exports of fish in South Africa are driven by import …

  • Trade, food and nutrition security in South Africa: The cases of sugar and poultry


    By Stephen Greenberg, Anne Marie Thow, Mafaniso Hara, October 2017

    The purpose of this paper is to consider the role that trade plays in food and nutrition security in South Africa. Despite an established commercial food system, South Africans experience high levels of food and nutrition insecurity – both under-nutrition and rising rates of diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) defines food security as ‘a situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, …

  • Policy Brief 48: Foodways of the poor in South Africa: How poor people get food, what they eat, and how this shapes our food system


    By Florian Kroll, March 2017
    Foodways are the set of strategies shaping what food people choose as well as how and where they access and consume it. Informed by culture and social context, the foodways of the poor simultaneously respond to and influence food systems change. South African food systems are in a process of change. These changes are caused by many factors, including urbanisation, …
  • Corporate power in the agro-food system and the consumer food environment in South Africa


    By Stephen Greenberg, February 2017

    This contribution maps the South African agro-food system with a focus on corporate ownership and power, inspired by value chain work applied to the food system as a a whole. Corporations tend to dominate some nodes, for example input supply, grain storage and handling, and feedlots. Other nodes have a corporate core but with a wide number of smaller economic actors, for example agricultural production, food manufacturing, wholesale and retail, and consumer food service. This wide number of actors points to possible areas of …

  • Rethinking agriculture in South Africa: Constraints and opportunities Key lessons for policy makers


    A summary report by Donna Hornby and Ben Cousins, October 2016

    A conference-dialogue was held in Cape Town from 11-13th October 2016 with the purpose of rethinking agriculture. The key question guiding the event was: ‘What role can agriculture play in helping resolve the crisis facing South Africa?’ Persistently high and increasing rates of unemployment, rising inequality, a stagnant economy and a dysfunctional state – these issues define the key policy-political challenges in contemporary post-apartheid South Africa. Rural areas and the agrarian economy are …

  • Changed working conditions on Western Cape fruit and wine farms: A state of knowledge review


    By Margareet Visser, September 2016

    This state of the knowledge review sets out to identify the main research themes and findings in the literature on labour relations and conditions on Western Cape fruit farms over the past 20 years. The paper also compares if and how farmworker livelihoods have changed since the heyday of Apartheid, and the role of the state in these changes. While farmworkers enjoy vastly more legal protection than in the past, most may in fact be worse off economically. This lack of improvement can be attributed to the state’s …

  • Lusaka‚Äôs local food geographies: A gendered reading of everyday food insecurity in Mtendere, Lusaka


    By Frances Davies, August 2016

    Little is known about how individual abilities and food security determinants - at the scale of everyday life - connect to formal and informal value chains, and broader urban structural systems in which daily processes are embedded. Structural inequalities in urban systems make it difficult to translate economic development into improved food security at different city, household or individual scales. Exploring current a-scalar and anti-urban food security …

  • Understanding South African food and agricultural policy - Implications for agri-food value chains, regulation, and formal and informal livelihoods


    By Scott Drimie, August 2016

    In order to create credibility and sustainability between policies, to avoid political confusion and to reassure “investor confidence”, a clear agri-food policy package needs to be in place. To achieve this, policy packages should be constructed to give coherence, with an explicit goal and set of objectives, underscoring accountability to delivery. Considering current policy …

  • Deflating the fallacy of food deserts: Local food geographies in Orange Farm and Inner City Johannesburg


    By Florian Kroll, August 2016

    The availability and accessibility of food is constrained by the environments where people live, work and purchase goods, and the pathways which they use to traverse these. This recognition has given rise to innovative conceptual frameworks including “food environments” and “food deserts”. These concepts add a spatial dimension to food security research that could inform food systems governance. Although the concepts have expanded the understanding of food security in the global North, their application to …

  • Foodways of the poor in South Africa: How value-chain consolidation, poverty & cultures of consumption feed each other


    By Florian Kroll, July 2016
    South African food systems are in a dynamic process of transition due to changes in food value chain regimes which have major impacts on the poor. However, these transitions are also shaped by demand-side drivers emerging from the 'foodways of the poor' - the ways poor people access food, what kinds of food they purchase, how they are consumed, and the culturally-conditioned …