BAB 070/24: Transparency of agricultural value chains

The crises of the recent past (war in Ukraine, SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, inflation rates) have once again highlighted the need for information and data on material flows within the value chains of agricultural products and foodstuffs. Comprehensive material flow representations at the level of agricultural products from primary production through the various processing stages to use are hardly available at the Austrian level. In this regard, a pilot study was carried out in 2022/23 as part of the ROBVEK project (Robust value and supply chains for agricultural goods and food in Austria): the focus was on the analysis and visualization of the quantity flows between the actors in the value chain of the pork sector. As a result, a volume flow representation was presented as a Sankey diagram. In addition, some problem areas were identified that limit a more comprehensive representation (e.g. inconsistent definitions, data gaps, data queries subject to a charge, etc.). The project also provided pointers for improving existing data sources (e.g. revision of factors in the supply balances). At the suggestion of the BML, the knowledge gained from the pilot project is to be applied to other agricultural sectors in order to expand the material flow representations.


The central objective of the project is to develop a transparent and consistent representation of the volume flows for the most important agricultural products (groups) on the basis of the consolidation of existing databases. To this end, it is planned to view, check and process the information and data available in the various institutions and databases for the presentation of volume flows and to present them in the form of Sankey diagrams.
Furthermore, consideration will be given to the form and periodicity in which the material flow diagrams can also be published as part of the BAB's publication activities.

Planned procedure and implementation

Essential work steps include the definition of the product group to be considered or its processed products, database and literature research as well as the preparation and consolidation of various data sets in a form that is as consistent as possible. The data from the supply balance, the foreign trade database and, where available, special evaluations from Roll-AMA form the basic framework for the most continuous and consistent presentation of material flows possible. The latter enable a more differentiated view and consideration of purchasing sources and product groups. Identified data gaps are to be closed as part of further research. The presentation of the use side is likely to be difficult (e.g. sales volumes by food retail, gastronomy, communal catering); here, as in the ROBVEK project, cooperation with RollAMA is required. The extent to which data can be provided by the AMA in this regard, and if so, at what cost in terms of personnel and funding, is also the subject of the project.

The basic approach is based on the experience of the ROBVEK project. In a first step, it is proposed to extend the presentation to the entire meat sector (i.e. beef and poultry meat). To do this, it is necessary to identify all actors (nodes) and their relationships (flows) in the respective value chains. The use of input and output tables has proven to be useful for illustrating the functional relationships of the individual actors. Sankey diagrams are planned to illustrate the material flows. Based on the quantitative description of the material flows, the possibility of a value-based representation should also be examined in accordance with the available price data. Experience from the pilot study has shown that the exchange with industry experts (e.g. producer associations, trade associations) has contributed significantly to the presentation of the theoretical relationship framework. In this respect, the expertise of industry experts should also be incorporated into the project in question.
The planned work steps for each sector can be summarized as follows:

- Definition of the products or product groups to be considered;
- Derivation of theoretical material flow models for the value chains of the individual product (groups), definition of the relevant nodes (actors) and the relationship structures between the nodes of a value chain;
- Reviewing and structuring the data available at the individual institutions;
- Review of additional relevant data from other institutions and other relevant institutions (e.g. Statistics Austria) and research projects;
- Identification of data gaps and proposals for closing them (if necessary, follow-up surveys or interviews with actors in the sector);
- Implementation of the input and output tables and visualization of the volume flow analysis using Sankey diagrams;
- Examination of the possibilities of alternative presentation and publication formats as well as regular updates
- Documentation of the results in a report.

Based on the findings from the pilot study (pork) and the resulting need for information on individual nodes in the value chain, certain aspects of the value chain could be examined in greater depth in consultation with the BML. One specific object of consideration is the increasingly important area of pet food from carnivores and its interaction with the food processing industry (e.g. the processing of animal by-products).


Project start: 10/2024
Project end: 12/2025




Project Status


Project Leader


DI Dipl.-Päd. Ing. Josef HAMBRUSCH

Agricultural Economics and Data Management




Agricultural Economics and Data Management
MARIA, Richard

B.Sc. Richard MARIA

Agricultural Economics and Data Management
STELZER, Christoph

DI B.Sc. Christoph STELZER

Agricultural Economics and Data Management
WEIGL, Martin


Agricultural Economics and Data Management

BEd. Astrid Reitter

Agricultural Economics and Data Management
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