From farm to fork


Used database:



December 2019


Scientific publication

From farm to fork

Food supply faced various challenges in the past centuries. Population growth, urbanization and industrialization put food supplies under pressure. To cope with the problems, scaling-up, innovation and technological improvements were necessary. The last issue of the CORN publication series is dedicated to the regulation of food production and distribution in the early modern and contemporary periods. Editors of this volume are Wouter Ronsijn (Ghent University and Bocconi University of Milan), Niccol├▓ Mignemi and Laurent Hermes (Ecole des Hautes Etudes and Sciences Sociales in Paris). The publication contains contributions from various researchers about Mexico and six European countries. Pieter De Graef (University of Antwerp) wrote an article about urban agriculture in Belgium during the nineteenth century. He shows how commercial farms were driven out of the cities and made way for small-scale agriculture by local residents. His findings are based on agricultural statistics and cadastral series from the LOKSTAT and POPPKAD databases.


This book presents ten case-studies by eminent scholars dealing with food supply, storage and markets from c. 1600 to c. 2000. Together they present a long-term history of the tools to regulate the rhythms and seasonal patterns of the food production and distribution process. How were the vast flows of staple food needed for metropolitan areas organised? What practical difficulties had to be overcome to preserve this food safely? Did people respond to price patterns in search for profit? Were governments successful in imposing regulation? In dealing with these issues, the contributing authors adopt different approaches and investigate cases from England, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Mexico. The focus on the stocks and flows of grains and other foodstuffs raises new questions combining economic, social, political, and environmental issues in the study of agricultural markets and food policies.

Ronsijn, Wouter, Niccol├│ Mignemi and Laurent Herment. Stocks, season and sales: food supply, storage and markets in Europe and the New World 1600-2000. CORN Publication Series 17, 2019 Brepols, 1-224.