Knowledge for better food systems

Short food supply chains as response to food shocks

This book uses case studies from Europe and North America to explore how relocalised food supply chains could respond to challenges to the food system. It argues that shorter food supply chains could in principle perform better socially, economically and environmentally than more geographically dispersed supply chains.

Publisher’s summary

Short food supply chains (SFSCs) rely primarily on local production and processing practices for the provision of food and are, in principle, more sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms than supply chains where production and consumption are widely separated.

This book reviews and assesses recent initiatives on this topic from an interdisciplinary  perspective. In theoretical terms it draws on and advances two key concepts, namely, place (particularly embeddedness in local economic networks and communities) and governance (particularly in addressing sustainability concerns in an inclusive and socially just manner). Empirically, the book examines a diverse set of SFSCs such as small-scale entrepreneurship, farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture and grassroots and solidarity networks. The main examples discussed are from Europe and North America, but the issues are applicable in a global context.

The book is of interest to advanced students, researchers and professionals in food studies, sociology, geography, planning, politics and environmental studies.

 

Reference

Kalfagianni, A. and Skordili, S. (2020). Localising Global Food: Short Food Supply Chains as Responses to Agri-Food System Challenges. Routledge, London and New York.

Read more here. See also the Foodsource resource How important is transport?

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Europe

Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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