Friday, December 3, 2010

Call for papers

See for the details below.


The Essential Principles of Small- and Mid-Scale Food Value Chain Development

Manuscripts due February 15, 2011

For details about JAFSCD and author guidelines, visit

JAFSCD invites researchers, ag/food system development professionals, and others to submit applied research papers, critical reflection essays, commentaries, and other manuscripts that provide critical insights into small- and mid-scale food value chain development.

Food value chains (FVCs) are a hot topic among agriculture and food systems development professionals. In FVCs, farmers and ranchers are treated as strategic partners, not as interchangeable — and exploitable — input suppliers. Values-based food supply chains (value chains) are strategic alliances between farms, ranches, and other supply-chain partners who distribute rewards equitably across the supply chain. They can include farm-to-institutions (schools, hospitals, prisons), multiproducer processors and wholesalers, multifarm CSAs, food hubs, food webs and networks, and the like. All partners in these business alliances recognize that creating maximum value for the product depends on significant interdependence, collaboration, and mutual support.[1]

Research suggests that successful mid-scale FVCs are built on three foundations:

* Appropriate volumes of high-quality, differentiated, market-engaging food products, coupled with value-adding stories of people, land, and practices;
* Strategic partnerships based on trusting, transparent, and win/win business relationships; and
* Effective, efficient supply-chain management and logistics, including product marketing, aggregation, processing, distribution, and record-keeping.

Papers can explore specific components within a chain (a farmer co-op or association), interactions of two or more links in a chain (farmers, wholesalers, processors, retailers, and eaters), or an entire chain. Examples include:

* Case studies of successful or failed FVC programs
* Research and education strategies that help build resilient FVCs
* How are FVCs playing a role in rural development?
* The role of FVCs in increasingly multifunctional rural landscapes
* Systematic analyses of key differences between FVCs and traditional food supply chains
* Local and global FVCs: influence of globalization on FVCs; should these be accepted or mediated?
* Overview analysis of the values chain sector (comparisons or outcomes across many cases)
* Implications of new food safety legislation on values chains
* Storage and transportation logistics
* Branding and geographical identity
* Performance and impact analysis
* Scaling up
* Building trust and transparency
* Business planning and/or record-keeping

The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development is a NEW online-only international, peer-reviewed journal focused on applied research and best practices in the development of thriving farming communities and sustainable food systems. Peer reviewers include development practitioners, organization and agency staff, faculty, graduate students, consultants, and farmers from around the world with expertise in a wide range of agriculture and food-systems issues as they relate to community, ecological sustainability, and economic development. JAFSCD is online at

[1] Adapted with permission from Stevenson, G. W. and Pirog, R. (2008). Values-based supply chains: Strategies for agrifood enterprises of the middle. In T. Lyson, G. W. Stevenson, and R. Welsh (Eds.), Food and the Mid-Level Farm: Renewing an Agriculture of the Middle. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


The Journal welcomes papers at any time on any subject related to the development aspects of agriculture and food systems.

Content can focus specifically on conservation and farmland protection, value-adding, cooperative marketing, value chains, distribution, farm labor, market research, consumer decision-making drivers, and other topics. Authors are encouraged to submit applied research papers, commentary, and thought-provoking articles that inform the emerging field of agriculture and food systems development. Faculty and students, Extension and other educators, planners, consultants, staff with farm agencies and farm and community organizations, and farmers are invited to submit material.

For both calls, manuscripts should focus on the practical application of these innovations: the organization and mechanics of a program or strategy; engagement of stakeholders; challenges and unique solutions; impact analysis; and lessons learned. The Journal encourages "accessible scholarship" -- minimizing jargon, writing in the active voice, and addressing the interests of both practitioners and academics. These papers should inspire and inform new and existing community development efforts to establish and sustain farms. Papers that feature survey results with descriptive statistics, or case studies featuring best practices (or even post-mortem analyses), are highly encouraged.

The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
is published by New Leaf Publishing and Consulting (

Sci/Tech Bar in Cambridge

The Cambridgeshire branch of the British Science Association plans to organise a Sci/Tech Bar in Cambridge.

SciBars typically provide a forum for scientists and non-scientists to get together in an informal setting (a bar) to discuss a scientific topic. Typically, an active researcher/scientist introduces the session with a short background talk (< 30 minutes) on their work and this is followed by a general discussion around the subject.

We have come up with a new angle for a Sci/Tech Bar and the aim would be to convey the following messages to the public:

1. The importance of long term funding of basic science

2. The steps and timeframe required to develop the science/technology into a product already on the market or close to market

3. The difference in timescales from initial scientific discovery to products in different sectors

4. The interdisciplinary nature of product development (and therefore dependence on advances in different scientific disciplines)

5. The application of sciences into different end sector products (a classic example is the NASA technology and memory foam mattresses)

The proposed format would have a researcher/scientist give a short timeline of the key discoveries in the field that have lead to the point the science/technology could be developed into a commercial product (15 minutes). This would then be followed by a person from the company who highlights the development into a product on or near market (15 minutes). In some instances, one person could present both aspects.

Cambridge is the ideal place for such a format, with one of the world's leading research universities combined with a high level of Business Enterprise Research and Development, not only in start-ups but also in established multinational corporations.

We are now looking for companies who are willing to volunteer for a Sci/Tech bar which will start first quarter 2011. We anticipate that this would provide an ideal opportunity for local High Tech companies to showcase their technology to the wider community. If you or your company are interested, or want to know more about the Sci/Tech bar, please get in contact with Dr Katia Smith-Litière before 20 December at