The Global Food System: II – Quantitative Approach to the Food Space of Mediterranean Europe

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The Global Food System: II – Quantitative Approach to the Food Space of Mediterranean Europe


The present paper is the second part of “The Global Food System: I – Definition of a space” (2013). The objectives of this second part are: (1) to illustrate and develop the application of the model formulated in the previous work, (2) to define quantitative indices that allow comparative positioning and characterization of the food system from a global perspective, and (3) to draw conclusions based on the quantitative study carried out and the defined indices. In this second part, the model formulated in part I, is applied to the study of an food space, Mediterranean Europe, done in four countries: Spain, France, Greece and Italy. The study is carried out with data corresponding to 12 variables grouped in the four conceptual axes of the model.


In order to quantify the relative position for each variable and each country, the so-called “position ratio (RP)” is defined, based on the CLR transformation (centred log-ratio transformation) of the Compositional Data Analysis. This RP makes it possible to characterize and compare the evolution of the indicators for each country, besides allowing individual and joint conclusions to be drawn. In order to synthesize the information given by the various RPs of each variable, the so-called “TRIPTOLEMOS Index (ITRIn)” is proposed, in which the subscript n refers to the number of considered variables.


This index quantifies the global position of the food system of each country in the studied environment and according to the model. Finally, conclusions are drawn, based on the quantitative analysis carried out in application of the model with business application.


KEY WORDS: food system, availability, economy, politics, food culture, society, mathematical modelling, prospective, global index. JEL CODES: 3C(02-51), 9I(19-31), 12L(66), 15O(013).


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