Molecular Breeding

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 743–770 | Cite as

Building bridges: an integrated strategy for sustainable food production throughout the value chain

  • R. Albajes
  • C. Cantero-Martínez
  • T. CapellEmail author
  • P. Christou
  • A. Farre
  • J. Galceran
  • F. López-Gatius
  • S. Marin
  • O. Martín-Belloso
  • Ma.-J. Motilva
  • C. Nogareda
  • J. Peman
  • J. Puy
  • J. Recasens
  • I. Romagosa
  • Ma.-P. Romero
  • V. SanchisEmail author
  • R. Savin
  • G. A. SlaferEmail author
  • R. Soliva-Fortuny
  • I. Viñas
  • J. Voltas


The food production and processing value chain is under pressure from all sides—increasing demand driven by a growing and more affluent population; dwindling resources caused by urbanization, land erosion, pollution and competing agriculture such as biofuels; and increasing constraints on production methods driven by consumers and regulators demanding higher quality, reduced chemical use, and most of all environmentally beneficial practices ‘from farm to fork’. This pressure can only be addressed by developing efficient and sustainable agricultural practices that are harmonized throughout the value chain, so that renewable resources can be exploited without damaging the environment. Bridges must, therefore, be built between the diverse areas within the food production and processing value chain, including bridges between different stages of production, between currently unlinked agronomic practices, and between the different levels and areas of research to achieve joined-up thinking within the industry, so that the wider impact of different technologies, practices and materials on productivity and sustainability is understood at the local, regional, national and global scales. In this article, we consider the challenges at different stages and levels of the value chain and how new technologies and strategies could be used to build bridges and achieve more sustainable food/feed production in the future.


Food Farming Sustainable 



Research at the University of Lleida is supported by MINECO, Spain (AGL2009-11006; AGL2009-11475; AGL2009-11964; AGL2009-13517-C03-02; AGL2010-21572; AGL-22050-C03-01; AGL2010-22084-CO2-O1; AGL2010-22182; AGL2011-23996; AGL2011-24862; AGL2011-30529-C02-02; AGL2012-35300; AGL2012-40144-C03-03; BIO2011-22525; BIO2011-23324; BIO2007-61413; CTQ2009-07831; CTM2009-14612 and PIM2010PKB-00746); EU FP7 Integrated Project 222716 SmartCell; EU FP7 European Research Council IDEAS Advanced Grant (to PC) Program-BIOFORCE; EU FP7 Large-scale integrated project KBBE 222738 Selection and improving of fit-for-purpose sampling procedures for specific foods and risks (BASELINE); EU FP7 Program-SICA project KBBE 222690; COST Action FA0804: Molecular farming: plants as a production platform for high value proteins; COST Action FA 1006: Plant Engine; COST Action TD1104: Development of electroporation-based technologies; Centre CONSOLIDER on Agrigenomics funded by MICINN, Spain; the HENUFOOD project (CEN-20101016) as part of the CENIT program and the INCOMES project as part of the INNPRONTA 2011 program funded by Ministry of Science and Innovation, Spain; RecerCaixa. An ICREA Academia Award has been presented to Prof. Martín-Belloso.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Albajes
    • 1
  • C. Cantero-Martínez
    • 1
  • T. Capell
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Christou
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. Farre
    • 1
  • J. Galceran
    • 1
  • F. López-Gatius
    • 1
  • S. Marin
    • 1
  • O. Martín-Belloso
    • 1
  • Ma.-J. Motilva
    • 1
  • C. Nogareda
    • 1
  • J. Peman
    • 1
  • J. Puy
    • 1
  • J. Recasens
    • 1
  • I. Romagosa
    • 1
    • 3
  • Ma.-P. Romero
    • 1
  • V. Sanchis
    • 1
    Email author
  • R. Savin
    • 1
  • G. A. Slafer
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • R. Soliva-Fortuny
    • 1
  • I. Viñas
    • 1
  • J. Voltas
    • 1
  1. 1.Universitat de Lleida-Agrotecnio CenterLleidaSpain
  2. 2.Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats (ICREA)BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Agronomic Mediterranean Institute of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain

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