Food Chain

Instructions for Authors


Food Chain is an international journal for professionals involved in developing the supply of high quality foods from the ‘farm gate to the plate’ and those who use food processing to alleviate poverty and hunger. It is essential reading for researchers, practitioners, academics, and policy-makers . Food Chain aims to bridge the gap between research and practice: we encourage papers written by researchers for the benefit of people who put ideas into practice in the field, and those written by practitioners to inform the need for further research. The content will cover all aspects of promoting food chains, from on-farm processing and post-harvest storage, to the operation of small food processing businesses, supply of food processing or analytical equipment, hygiene and quality assurance, marketing, distribution, finance and the place of small-scale processing in the wider business environment. Agriculture and nutrition will not feature per se in the journal, but it will include aspects of  crop supplies and their quality, nutrition/food security and food relief operations, where these impact on local food processors. The journal will also include details of Internet and published sources of food processing information, book reviews, local food processing associations and groups, letters and links to relevant Internet forums, news of forthcoming events, exhibitions, trade shows, conferences or training courses are also welcome.



Food Chain aims to promote sustainable supplies of high quality foods by exploring all aspects of the food chain from the practical to the political at every level across a broad geographical base.

·         Practical solutions are essential to address many of the difficulties experienced  in processing foods at a small scale. However, the impacts of government and international policies as well as institutional influences on the food sector are also key to addressing issues in the food chain.

·         Food Chain tries to cover as wide a range of geographical areas as possible. Articles describing particular projects in a given country should also include international comparisons, or at least some discussion of how local practice relates to what is done in other parts of the world.

·         Sustainability is key to improvements in the food chain. This can mean, for example, how much programmes cost to run and how income is achieved to cover costs, or how the private sector is involved in new ways of working.


Articles should be between 2000 and 6000 words in length: articles covering specific projects and field-based experience may be shorter (2000–3000 words), whereas more analytical, research-based papers, or overviews may be longer (5000–6000 words).

The editor welcomes authors sending 100–150 word outlines of their proposed article for discussion and guidance prior to writing the full article.

Please submit your article as a Word document containing the text, including title (up to 12 words), abstract (100–150 words), references (no more than 15), and captions to tables, boxes and figures.

Please also include one sentence on the author’s occupation or expertise. Acknowledgments are not encouraged but if it is important to include them, please keep them to one sentence.

References and footnotes

Food Chain does not have footnotes. Material of this type should either be incorporated into the text (possibly in brackets) or omitted.


References should be given in the Harvard style e.g. (Smith, 2001) in the text, together with, in a list at the end: 


Smith, John (2001) ‘Quality assurance in the coffee supply chain’, DFID report.


Please include the DOI number at the end of the reference if available.


Tables and Figures

§  Tables should be set up in Word, numbered consecutively, and remain in the text where they should appear.

§  Graphs or diagrams that were originally composed in Excel, should be linked as an object in the Word file, and sent as separate files. Data should be displayed in greyscale or with patterns rather than colours; they should be in 2-D rather than 3-D. Graphs and line images should be referred to in the text with  the figure title and numbered consecutively.

§  Line images should be submitted in black and white, with no areas of solid grey, and at a resolution of 600 dots per inch at the size you would like it published or larger.

§  Photographs and illustrations. If you are sending photographs, please save them in greyscale, preferably in TIFF or PostScript format (at least 300 dpi for size 12 cm wide). Please always send them as separate files, not embedded in the Word document.


Submission, editorial selection procedures and copyright assignment

Articles should be submitted as email attachments. Once received, they will be acknowledged by the editor, who will check that the article is within the scope of the journal. They will then be read by at least two other reviewers. When the reviewers’ comments have been received, usually within six weeks, the editor will convey the decision of the reviewers to the author. Unless the decision is not to publish, the reviewers usually ask for some revisions or they have a few queries.

If it is agreed that the article is suitable for publishing, the final decision on which issue the article is most suitable for is made at the editorial committee meeting, approximately three months before the issue will be published. The Managing Editor then edits the article and prepares it for publication. She will send each author a single copy of the issue when it is published: please send her the postal address to which copies should be sent.

Articles should be submitted to the Managing Editor, Clare Tawney, via email at

The journal's policy is to acquire copyright for all contributions. Once articles have been submitted for publication authors will be sent a copyright assignment form which they should sign and return to the Practical Action Publishing office.


Payment and extra copies

Food Chain  is published by Practical Action Publishing, part of the registered charity Practical Action, and we regret that we cannot pay authors.

We don’t distribute offprints or pdfs but authors who would like to order extra copies are eligible for an author discount and are invited to contact


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