Food Chain

The food chain, a fundamental concept in ecological studies, is a direct, linear sequence of links in a food web starting from species that eat no other species in the web and ends at a top predator. It is inextricably tied to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDGs 2, 12, 14, and 15, which respectively aim to end hunger, ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources, and protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems.

A robust, healthy food chain is essential to achieving SDG 2, as the availability and accessibility of diverse, nutritious food hinge on the productivity and resilience of each link in the chain. On the other hand, the target of sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12) is an effort to minimize the environmental impact of our food systems, ranging from farm to fork, by reducing food waste, promoting efficient resource use, and encouraging the consumption of sustainably-sourced produce.

The health of our oceans (SDG 14) is likewise tightly linked to food chains, with overfishing, pollution, and climate change disrupting marine food webs, threatening biodiversity, and jeopardizing the livelihoods of communities reliant on these resources. Lastly, terrestrial ecosystems (SDG 15), from forests to grasslands, house complex food chains that sustain a rich variety of species, and their preservation is crucial for biodiversity, climate regulation, and human well-being. In essence, the food chain and SDGs form a deeply intertwined relationship, and by understanding and safeguarding our food chains, we can make strides in achieving the SDGs and creating a sustainable future.


Global Food Security,
Volume 27,
ISSN 2211-9124,

This paper describes the relationship between agriculture, food supply chains and children’s and adolescents’ diets and their food accessibility, advancing knowledge on SDG 2, zero hunger.

Current Opinion in Food Science, Volume 30, December 2019

Enteric viruses are an important food safety concern and have been associated with many foodborne disease outbreaks. Norovirus and Hepatitis A virus have been implicated in majority of outbreaks; however, other foodborne viruses such as Hepatitis E virus, Sapovirus and Rotavirus can also present a risk to humans. Viral foodborne disease outbreaks have typically been associated with foods served raw including shellfish, fruits and vegetables. The contamination of food by viruses can occur anywhere in the supply chain.


Saving Food, Production, Supply Chain, Food Waste, and Food Consumption, 2019, pages 1-31

Food losses and food waste (FLW) have attracted much attention in the world recently and become a priority in the global and national political agenda. Better understanding of the availability and quality of global FLW data is important for benchmarking reduction goals, environmental impacts analysis, and informing mitigation measures. In this chapter, the FLW data for 84 countries and 52 individual years during 1933 and 2014 in 202 publications were examined, contributing to SDG 12.

Sustainable Food Supply Chains: Planning, Design, and Control through Interdisciplinary Methodologies, 2019, Pages 249-260

This book chapter addresses goals 2 and 12 by analysing food systems sustainability through the lens of the interrelated implications and impacts of FLW on production and consumption.

Successful Food-energy-water (FEW) nexus projects will be more likely to succeed if a transdisciplinary approach is used. Ecological modernization (ecological technology) policies and practices, and sustainable supply chains influence the FEW nexus from a commerce and industry perspective. Taking these perspectives and considering their intertwined linkages is important for advancing research and adoption of FEW nexus efforts. This paper provides an overview of these perspectives and interlinkages.