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Agroecological localisation: a core practice for ecological food provision? Jyotsna Ram Department of Planning

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Presentation on theme: "Agroecological localisation: a core practice for ecological food provision? Jyotsna Ram Department of Planning"— Presentation transcript:

1 Agroecological localisation: a core practice for ecological food provision? Jyotsna Ram Department of Planning

2 Outline  Theory - Alternative Food Networks (AFNs)  Agroecological localisation – the concept  Agroecological localisation in practice (case studies)  Implications of agroecological localisation  Unresolved issues

3 Theory- Alternative Food Networks  What are AFNs?  “any set of production-consumption relations which connects people through food”. Such relations are encompassed in single or a cluster of projects (Cox et al 2008,  Involve small-scale “local” farms; reduce distance between producer and consumers  Commitment to ethical values such as ecological sustainability, social justice, and community participating within and ownership of the food system  Retail landscape very different from the industrial food system – farmers markets,.

4 Theory- Alternative Food Networks Defining characteristic: Local/ locally rooted. But what is ‘local’?  No fixed definition (Pearson et al 2011)  Not a fixed distance but “a process, or aspiration, in terms of a direction to be heading in, and hence encourage continuous steps towards shortening the food supply chain (Pearson et al 2011)  This means the form and shape of a local food system will differ from locality to locality

5 Theory- Alternative Food Networks  BUT BEWARE OF THE LOCAL TRAP!!! (Born and Purcell 2006; Dupuis and Goodman 2005)  How to avoid the local trap but still reap the benefits of local food???  Practice localisation within an “ethics of care” (Holloway and Kneafsey 2004)

6 Agroecological localisation – the concept  Localisation of a food system within an “ethics of care”.  The ethics is ecological production, trade, and consumption  Commitment to the production of ecological food and the localisation of the food system  Set of practices to realise this commitment

7 Agroecological localisation in practice  Examine PRODUCTION practices. Are these ecological?  Examine LOCALISATION practices ( for example transportation, trade, others?)  Localisation practices  reduce food miles  foster a sense of community between producers, consumers and relevant intermediaries  Facilitate fair exchange between producers and consumers.  Ecological localisation practices, in addition to agroecological production practices, include those that improve the energy efficiencies of the distribution processes

8 Case studies

9 Production practices  Growing Communities and the Start Up Communities  Define sustainable food as food that is either certified organic or biodynamic, sustainably foraged, or home grown without the use of artificial fertilisers.  Do not source air freighted or ‘hothouse’ produce  Only support practices that involve organic soil and wildlife management  Invest in local growing sites to increase local ecological food production  Abundance  Foraging project – harvest wild food; use pruning and grafting for pest management; plant new trees

10 Localisation practices  Growing Communities and the Start Up Communities  Local trade and direct sourcing; nurture local businesses  Encourage a community - Farmers Market  Transportation efficiencies  Box scheme are collection only  Electric vehicles to drop off boxes (London)  Producers collaborate on deliveries

11 Localisation practices  Abundance  Does not provide fruit all year around  Creates community around harvest celebrations

12 Implications of agroecological localisation (AL)  Directs investment in previously ignored local assets  Local growing sites, local foraging opportunities, support for local ecological producers  Leads to fairer terms of exchange and increases sustainable trade  Furthers the debate on the relationship between non local foods and local foods in an ecological food system.

13 Unresolved issues?  Scalability of agroecological localisation practices?  Is it paradoxical to scale ‘local’ systems when local implies place specific?  Scaling up vs. replication (Start up communities replicate rather than scale up the Growing Communities model)  Balance of local and non-local foods?  Significant gap in knowledge  Agribusiness an obstacle to local ecological systems?  What is the relevance of agroecological localisation when local climatic related disasters – e.g. recent flooding emergency – impacts local harvest?

14 Thank you! Comments and questions?


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