Session by RC-40 member Dr. Rachel Reckinger on "Innovation, Social Justice and Knowledge Production for the Governance of the Transition to More Sustainable Food Systems”.
Interested researchers are invited to send an abstract of max. 350 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, New deadline 25 February 2019.
This session’s focus is on the impact, risks and motivations of producers and consumers altering local food systems. Of particular interest are enabling types of governance that improve ecological balance and social justice in policies of governmental regulation and institutions but also in the politics of alternative food movements.
Alternative food networks bring about a cultural shift by associating prosumers through a renewed form of trust, reciprocity and community, thus reinforcing social and ecological justice (even though the consumers of such local food systems tend to stem from the privileged milieus). Yet these innovations, while being agroecological, often dissociate themselves from official organic certifications. This makes established, certified organic farmers, often without prosumer involvement, feel a certain fragmentation and lack of solidarity. At the same time, such heterodox actors in the transition to more sustainable food systems bring about new forms of knowledge, that are contested and co-constructed, along with enabling or disabling policymaking and, often, in dialogue with research. Yet again, established farmers – organic or conventional with all intermediate shades – also produce long-standing knowledge and have experience in managing their businesses with more or less sustainable priorities. An analysis of such food value chain practices focuses on negotiations and struggles among actors in a multifaceted foodscape, where some block and some enhance transitions. Viewing the relationships, interconnectedness and agency of niche innovations and regime hegemonies opens up the perspective of contested knowledge claims.
Additionally, the ways in which actors in the regulatory field advance transitions by policy measures and initiatives need to be considered, and in particular the processes of politicization as interdependencies between social movement actors and the public sphere as well as the private sector: welcome examples are food policy councils, but also food clusters or other civil society initiatives as well as PPP innovations.
In short: which types of governance at all levels show themselves to be effective in supporting and empowering such multiple changes in “knowing and growing food in a contested arena” (Goodman, DuPuis, Goodman, 2014)?