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The agroecology of food systems: Reconnecting agriculture, food, and the environment

Lamine, Claire, Dawson, Julie
Agroecology and sustainable food systems 2018 v.42 no.6 pp. 629-636
agriculture, agroecology, certification, food supply chain, foods
Re-localization is part of the solution but does not fully address the diversity of interdependencies within food systems. Based on the discussion in a workshop that was part of the 2015 conference on The Agroecological Imagination, we argue that an agroecological approach to food systems might provide an appropriate framework for understanding food systems transitions. We address three central questions. (1) Can agroecological practices add value to food, and what process of certification and labeling would help consumers understand the added value that certain practices provide? (2) How can agroecology introduce ecological concepts into decisions on food systems, especially at the scale of food systems rather than the scale of specific products? (3) What approaches to research and action-research are most appropriate – or remain to be developed – in order to favor such processes of reconnection between agriculture, environment and food? We conclude by arguing that an agroecological approach to food systems should favor processes which allow relational reflexivity – the capacity to take into account one’s own interdependencies to others but also interdependencies between other actors.