Explore Cardiff University

Growing Regenerative Communities of Food

Alison Blay-Palmer, Assoc. Prof., Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Canada
Tuesday 13th November 2012 - 4:00pm
Council Chamber, Glamorgan Building

Hosted by the Environment Research Group


The complexity of problems such as climate change, food and nutrition insecurity, high rates of food related disease, and escalating rates of unemployment requires the adoption of a sustainable food systems perspective. At the same time, there is increasing evidence that we need to explore different community problems and place- based solutions  so we can help communities define what works for them.

The presentation draws on the alternative food literature, complex adaptive systems thinking, transition theory and insights from the social enterprise literature's.  The paper focuses on findings from a survey in Ontario, Canada of over 350 community projects, including 21 case studies. The research project has resulted in the creation of several deliverables including a toolkit that captures best practices from the region and includes recommendations about the creation of more sustainable food systems. The presentation will also explore the intersection of challenges and solutions for communities in the Global North and South.  Common themes from the projects will be identified as they point to overlapping concerns and places where food can build important synergies for collaboration, learning and solidarity.  
In facing the 'new food equation' communities in both the global North and South are looking for ways to build more resilient communities. Food offers a lens to address globalisation pressures faced by communities in all places.