Tackling food poverty: Building resilience into alternative food supply chain provision
Application deadline: 11 May 2018
Start date: October 2018
Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reveals that the UK is placed fourth highest in terms of income inequality. Wales stands out because it faces significant socio-economic difficulties and continues to see an important decline in its traditional industrial sectors, leading to high levels of unemployment and underemployment. More than one in five people live in poverty in Wales. High poverty levels and the recent rise of food banks in Wales clearly signals the significance of the food insecurity problem.
Project aims and methods
This research is rooted in the Welsh socio-economic context and is supported by Agriculture, Food and Marine Department (AFM), Welsh Government. It aims to explore ways to alleviate the country’s rising food poverty problem. We will work closely with local communities and relevant stakeholders in Wales with a focus on local food supply chains that cater for the needs of the disadvantaged. Most existing food provision is provided by social enterprises or charity/public organisations. While each such scheme has its own unique appeal to its customers, they either lack long-term economic viability or do not fully address the social needs of the disadvantaged. Despite being a worthy research topic, the viability of such social supply chains and their contribution to tackling food poverty has long been overlooked by business scholars. Hence, our research question is:
- How can resilience be built into alternative food supply chains that help alleviate the food poverty problem while serving as an integrative basis for social change?
This research address an important void in the social sustainability literature, building a theoretical link between upstream supply chain design and provision with a downstream approach to consumption-related inequality issues. It has important regional and national policy implications as recognised by Welsh Government. It is expected that the research will mainly deploy a qualitative approach but may also involve quantitative data collection.