Outline. The emerging food security agendaLocal food: benefits and valorisationLocal food: an emerging critiqueLocal food and food security: where now?. 2. What is food security?. ?[When] all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to m
2. Outline The emerging food security agenda
Local food: benefits and valorisation
Local food: an emerging critique
Local food and food security: where now?
3. What is food security? “[When] all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (World Food Summit, 1996, cited in Ericksen, 2008, p. 234). 3
6. A new food security crisis?
“The recent price spike has served to underline our global interdependency and demonstrated the political and social importance of affordable food”
(Chatham House 2009, p. 5). 6
7. Global pressures on food security Global price volatility
The ‘nutrition transition’
Speculation in food futures
Peak Oil: Increasing costs for fuels/pesticides
Peak Phosphate: increasing costs of phosphatic fertilizers
8. Conflicting discourses Introduction of GM tech./Organic production
Freedom of choice/Choice editing
Domestic vs global needs (equity) 8
9. How should the UK respond? A recent House of Commons (2009) report
outlines three approaches:
Sustainable production approach 9
10. The ‘official’ UK response: neo-productivist Not self-sufficient, but increased domestic production in a sustainable way.
“British agriculture to produce as much food as possible no ifs, no buts...The only requirements should be, first, that consumers want what is produced and, second, that the way our food is grown both sustains our environment and safeguards our landscape” (Benn, 2009, cited in Ilbery and Maye, 2010). 10
11. The ‘transition’ response: localisation
“How can we get from where we are now, an oil dependent economy with very little food security, to a localised, resilient and self-reliant food economy”? (Rob Hopkins)
12. Local food Interest in local food emerged in the 1980s and 1990s
Local ‘Food Links’ groups
Grow your own
13. The benefits of local food A reduction in food miles.
Supporting your local economy and local producers.
Fresh, seasonal produce.
Full traceability & greater understanding between producers and consumers.
Food security is maximised as dependence on imports and fossil fuel transportation is reduced.
Better for the environment.
Local foods are also equated with being safe, pure, natural, high quality.
14. Valorising the local “We believe that one of the greatest opportunities for farmers to add value and retain a bigger slice of retail price is to build on the public's enthusiasm for locally-produced food, or food with a clear regional provenance” (Curry, 2002 p. 43).
15. Valorising the local ‘Local’ (and localisation) as both a scale of agro-food operation, but also as a means of valorising local assets. This is in terms of sustainable agriculture, but also rural development.
Local (quality) food.
Short food supply chains.
16. An emerging critique: avoid the ‘local trap’ Local does not necessarily equate with quality, nor with food safety, nor with concern for the environment, nor indeed for wider agro-food sustainability.
Food miles are a poor indicator of the environmental and ethical impact of food production:
Life Cycle Analysis (Edward Jones et al, 2009; Coley et al., 2009)
Whole Chain Analysis (Ilbery et al., 2010)
‘Diversity receptive’ not ‘defensive’ localisation. 16
17. Local food and food security: where now? Key points from the local food critique:
‘Local’ needs to be understood in terms of ‘sustainability’
Clearer understanding of what we mean by the ‘sustainability’ of food
Much of the support has been in terms of valorisation 17
18. Local food: where now? The new food security context requires joined-up policy thinking and partnership working
Is a localised FSC what we want?
What role does local food have to play?
- Upscaling local foods
- Supermarkets & local foods
- Community food projects 18
19. Local food: where now? Affordability, Access, Utilisation Big Lottery Fund programmes: community focused – promoting food culture/education
Demand for allotments (estimated waiting list of 100,000)
Sales of local food currently 1.5% of the food market; potential for 10%
20. “In terms of overall production, these trends are a small contribution to a huge challenge, but they are a way of reconnecting people with food production and have an important part to play in encouraging the sort of changes in consumer behaviour that will be necessary for a sustainable system of food production. The role of local and home production, and of educating children about food, should be incorporated in Defra’s vision and strategy for food” (House of Commons report, 2009 p. 30). 20
21. References: Born, B. and Purcell, M. 2006 Avoiding the local trap: scale and food systems in planning research. Journal of Planning Education and Research , 26, 195-207.
Chatham House (2009) Food futures: rethinking UK strategy. A Chatham House Report, Chatham House, London.
Coley, D., Howard, M. and Winter, M. (2009) Local food, food miles and carbon emissions: a comparison of farm shop and mass distribution approaches. Food Policy , 34, 150-155.
Curry Report (2002) Farming and food: a sustainable future. London, Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food, Cabinet Office.
Defra (2009) Comparative life cycle assessment of food commodities procured for UK consumption through a diversity of supply chains. Research Project Final Report, AEA, Cranfield University, Ed Moorhouse, Paul Watkiss Associates, AHDBMS, Marintek.
Edwards-Jones, G. Food miles don’t go the distance. Available on-line at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4807026.stm (accessed Oct 2009)
Ericksen, P. (2008) Conceptualizing food systems for global environmental change research. Global Environmental Change, 18, 234-245.
Hinrichs, C.C. (2003) The practice and politics of food system localization. Journal of Rural Studies, 19, 33-45.
House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (2009) Securing food supplies up to 2050: the challenges faced by the UK. Fourth Report of Session 2009-09. Volume 1. House of Commons, London.
22. References continued… Hopkins, R. (2008) The transition handbook: from oil dependency to local resilience. Green Books, London.
Ilbery, B., Courtney, P., Kirwan, J. and Maye, D. (2010) Marketing concentration and geographical dispersion: a survey of organic farms in England and Wales. British Food Journal, in press.
Ilbery, B. and Maye, D. (2010) Agricultural restructuring and changing food networks in the UK. In: Coe, N. and Jones, A. (eds) Reading the economy: the UK in the 21st century. Sage, London, forthcoming.
Kirwan, J. (2004) Alternative strategies in the UK agro-food system: interrogating the alterity of farmers’ markets. Sociologia Ruralis, 44, 4, 395-415.
New Economics Foundation (2009) Re-framing the great food debate: the case of sustainable food. NEF, London.
Maye, D. and Kirwan, J. (2010 in press) Alternative food networks. Sociology of agriculture and food entry for Sociopedia.ISA. ISA on-line resource, in press.
Renting, H., Marsden, T.K. and Banks, J. (2003) Understanding alternative food networks: exploring the role of short food supply chains in rural development. Environment and Planning A, 35, 393-411.
Wrigley, N. (2002) ‘Food deserts’ in British cities: policy context and research priorities. Urban Studies, 39, 2029-2040.