Post-farmgate food value chains make up most of consumer food expenditures globally

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Jing Yi
  • Meemken, Eva-Marie
  • Veronica Mazariegos-Anastassiou
  • Jiali Liu
  • Ejin Kim
  • Miguel I. Gomez
  • Patrick Canning
  • Christopher B. Barrett

Progress towards many United Nations Sustainable Development Goals depends on interventions in food value chains, yet data and methods have thus far limited the production of cross-nationally comparable estimates of food value chains' magnitudes. Here we develop a standardized method and data series to estimate the distribution of consumer food expenditures between value-added activities on farms and in the post-farmgate value chain. Using data from 61 countries over 2005-2015, representing 90% of the global economy, we show that farmers receive, on average, 27% of consumer expenditure on foods consumed at home and a far lower percentage of food consumed away from home. That figure consistently falls in the 16-38% range for middle- and high-income countries and falls significantly as incomes rise. The large and growing post-farmgate food value chain merits greater attention as the world grapples with the economic, environmental and social impacts of food systems.

The distribution of consumer food expenditures across value-added activities on farms and in the post-farmgate value chain, although important, has been overlooked. Building on a global food dollar series, this study shows how the farm and post-farmgate shares of consumer food expenditures evolve in response to changing economic, demographic and agricultural conditions in different regions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Food
Pages (from-to)417-425
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021

    Research areas


ID: 272641098