Short food chains and the rural development dynamic

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Some reflections and future directions for research’ and arguements that we need to reposition short food chain activities beyond the ‘rural local’/value-added market-based model that they are more …

Some reflections and future directions for research’ and arguements that we need to reposition short food chain activities beyond the ‘rural local’/value-added market-based model that they are more commonly associated with.

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  • 1. Short food chain activities: some reflections and future directions for research Damian Maye Countryside and Community Research Institute, Gloucester ‘Food from here’ Conference, Coventry University 3rd July 2013
  • 2. Short food chains and the rural development dynamic • The ‘quality turn’ (Ilbery & Kneafsey, 2000) • SFSCs: niche market; retain added value; more direct connections with consumers • 3 types (Marsden et al., 2000): face-to-face; spatially proximate; spatially extended • Protect rural places; the ‘rural local’ • CAP reforms; endogenous rural dev.
  • 3. Short food chains and the rural development dynamic • SFSCs = new agrarian model of rural dev. • The IMPACT study (Ploeg et al., 2000; Marsden et al, 2002; Renting et al., 2003) • “The ability of quality products to secure premium prices and so generate excess profits is a central plank of (this) market-led, value added model” (Goodman 2004: 8; emphasis added). • Need to extend SFSC focus beyond the ‘rural local’ arena and the activities covered. 3
  • 4. Recent ‘food system shocks’ • Horsemeat scandal • Food price inflation • Food security = new food policy master frame (Mooney and Hunt; 2009; Maye and Kirwan, 2013) • Shocks redefine and revalue SFSCs concept? • Value-added model is too narrow? • Multiple transition pathways 4
  • 5. 5 Landscape Pressures Mainstream Food System Bottom Up Innovations Time Scales of Transition Adapted from Geels & Schott, 2007
  • 6. UK food security discourse: where are LFNs/SFSCs? • ‘Official’ UK food security discourse • LFNs/SFSC activities are sidelined (Kirwan and Maye, 2013) • Support is rhetorical • Sector-level aggregate data are missing • Sustainable fs is not achieved by expanding LFNs/the SFSC niche 6
  • 7. Alternative transition pathways? • This dismissive view of LFNs/SFSCs is a missed opportunity? • Need to focus more on the micro-level and community needs • Market-orientated SFSC model describes ‘first generation’ food relocalisation (Goodman et al., 2012) • But mix of community-orientated projects 7
  • 8. Local Food programme • £60 million programme. • Launched in 2007. • Distributes funds to more than 500 food related projects, ranging from small grants of £2000 up to £500,000. • Aim: to make locally grown food accessible and affordable to local communities. • Ongoing evaluation from November 2009-March 2014. 8
  • 9. LF activity types funded: 9 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 Community food growing Education & Learning Allotments School grounds Sharing best practise / networking Celebrating food cultures Community supported agriculture Catering Community gardens Food co-ops City farms Farmers markets Redistribution of Food Box schemes Community land management Composting Social enterprise 155 115 59 56 19 16 15 14 14 11 9 9 6 3 3 2 1
  • 10. General observations • LF supporting community-based projects • Mobilising SFSC concept at community scale • Activities extend beyond ‘rural local’ model • Many LF projects are not about food (i.e. more than just the veg); pretext & vector for social agency (Kirwan et al., 2013) • Many LF projects are urban/peri-urban. 10
  • 11. Civic food networks • Introduced by Renting et al (2012) to examine new sources of c-p innovation. • The role of civil society as a governance mechanism for agri-food networks has increased in significance. • Changing relations between agri-food networks and urban-rural relations; often cities are the starting point. 11
  • 12. Short chain activities in urban and peri-urban contexts • SUPURBFOOD (www.supurbfood.eu) • Food policy now viewed as an urban issue • The city-region concept (see Jonas, 2012) • Three activities: – Closing waste, water & nutrient cycles – Shortening food chains – Multi-functional land use • Synergies & innovative policy frameworks 12
  • 13. 13
  • 14. Conclusions • LFNs/SFSCs and the ‘rural local’ • Official fs policy has sidelined LFNs/SFSCs • Need to reassess/revalue the form these networks take and where they take place • Social and community values; civic food networks; peri-urban and urban contexts • Proactive forms of place-based governance 14