Global Food System and the Role of Corruption

Why focus on this topic?

The current food system is failing to provide nutritious foods for all. In attempt to make this system more sustainable and equitable, the importance of taking a food systems approach has been emphasized.  A food systems approach may help us to understand and address system-wide barriers to improving the food system, such as corruption. While corruption is present in many social and economic systems, there is a knowledge gap relating to its role in the global food system. As corruption has the potential to threaten food security, safety, equity, and social justice, it is critical we understand it in this context. Our aim is to systematically identify and synthesize literature focused on corruption in the food system to understand how corruption impacts the global food system; how it is defined and measured; where corruption exists in the food system; and whether there are any proposed solutions for addressing corruption in this context.

How was the research done?

A systematic scoping review methodology will be undertaken. Identification: We will search Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science, PsychInfo and Econlit using search terms combining corruption and the food system. Selection: We will screen titles and abstracts and extract data according to published guidelines for scoping reviews. All literature focused on corruption in the food system will be included. Synthesis: We will summarize key data from each study, mapping forms of corruption throughout the food system and capturing measures and definitions of corruption in use in the food system literature. We will conduct thematic analysis to understand the causes and consequences of food system corruption, as well as proposed solutions.

What do we expect to find and why will it matter?

This scoping review will be the first to systematically summarize the literature relating to corruption’s role in the global food system and how it may contribute to the food system transition. Searching journals from multiple disciplines and using a comprehensive list of search terms, this study will attempt to provide an inclusive synthesis of corruption in the food system.

  • The role of corruption in global food systems and the food system transition: a systematic scoping review protocol. (under review)