and regulatory policies, in which the value chain is embedded. With those research steps and analytic concepts, we showed how the GVC framework helps us to understand food production and consumption, and their interrelationship at the global and local levels.
The international economic processes of trade and FDI create global and local linkages between firms and countries. These processes tell a story about how trade affects consumption through imported inputs for manufactured foods, and we showed how developing countries are changing their local food production systems to cater to manufactured products using these inputs. The examples of soybeans in China, food imports in Trinidad and Tobago, and corn in Mexico demonstrated this phenomenon in detail. Lastly, we presented evidence about leading TNCs in food GVCs, which exhibit the global strength, branding, and business strategies that are driving changes in food consumption.
This paper outlines how a GVC framework can help us to understand global health and food consumption. Future studies of food and agricultural value chains may eventually be able to identify avenues where key interventions, such as policy recommendations to require the selling of healthier food, or placing limits on the chemicals and artificial flavors that can go into processed foods, can garner the support of food TNCs, governments and consumers alike. The GVC approach is well suited to linking the global and local levels of analysis, with a focus on both production and consumption. However, we also need to identify win-win scenarios whereby the major food and agricultural TNCs see healthier diets and reductions in childhood obesity as central to their future business models in a more socially responsive global economy.