Presentation held on June 24th
Presentation slides: BALTA Webinar Scaling Local Food Slides
Full transcription: Webinar Transcript Scaling Up Alternative Food Initiatives
Despite the increasing growth and attention to farmers markets, CSAs, local food box programmes, etc., alternative food initiatives geared towards local production and consumption, many of which emerge from the social economy, remain minor players when contrasted with the conventional food system.
Key Challenge: how to scale-up alternative food initiatives so that they have a greater transformational impact in the larger agri-food system and also serve as a catalyst for broader societal change towards a sustainable and strong social economy?
The case studies examined in this webinar highlight the opportunities and challenges in scaling-up food relocalization without sacrificing commitment to social, economic and environmental values and goals.
We suggest the need to focus attention equally on building physical infrastructure and capacity (production, storage, distribution, retail) whilst also investing in social infrastructure and capacity (coalition-building, partnerships, clustering) required for a robust and resilient local food movement. We hope to initiate a discussion about the challenges and tensions between pragmatic and transformational approaches to issues of food security, food sovereignty, food justice and sustainability.
Mary Beckie: Dr. Mary A. Beckie is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta. Her research and teaching focuses on sustainable community development, specifically the role of agri-food systems, community-based resource management and the social economy, and is grounded in the scholarship of engagement. Dr. Beckie holds a doctorate in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development from the University of Saskatchewan and has been involved in related work in western Canada, the mid-west United States, Europe, Cuba and Sri Lanka. Her previous research with BALTA focused on the role of farmers’ markets as catalysts in scaling local food systems.
Sean Connelly: Dr. Sean Connelly is a lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of Otago in New Zealand. His research and teaching interests are in human-environment relations, sustainable community development and local food systems. He completed post-doctoral research with BALTA focused on local food movements and sustainability and has a PhD in Geography from Simon Fraser University.