Presentation on theme: "Agroecological localisation: a core practice for ecological food provision? Jyotsna Ram Department of Planning"— Presentation transcript:
Agroecological localisation: a core practice for ecological food provision? Jyotsna Ram Department of Planning
Outline Theory - Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) Agroecological localisation – the concept Agroecological localisation in practice (case studies) Implications of agroecological localisation Unresolved issues
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,.
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
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)
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
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
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
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
Localisation practices Abundance Does not provide fruit all year around Creates community around harvest celebrations
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.
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?