Authors: Guðbrandsdóttir, I.; Olafsdottir, A.; UlrikSverdrup, H .; Bogason, S.; Olafsdottir, G.; Stefansson, G.
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This paper presents a work in progress on the development of a mental model of a food
system using system analysis. The aim is to be able to use this model to create a mathematical
simulation model that can be used to identify policy intervention opportunities, specifically
focusing on the resilience, integrity and sustainability of food supply networks. The traditional
view of food systems as supply chains with a downstream physical flow of products is
extended to include the associated upstream flow of money and the decision chains that link
these flows. Central to this work is the idea that supply systems are driven by profit and
regulated by market dynamics and that these factors generate the underlying feedback
structure of the system. Studying the structure of such systems as integrated supply-, valueand
decision chains has underscored their complexity and the need for further, more food
system specific research.
Keywords: System dynamics; food system; supply chain; value chain; decision chain.