Version 3.2_September 2016

Academic Special Session: Degrowth and Sustainable, Just Food Supply

Academic special session on food relocalisation, civic food networks, community agriculture, forms of sustainable consumption, struggles for food sovereignty

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The program of degrowth has from the start regarded alternative food provisioning as a starting point for the implementation of degrowth (Latouche 2011) that could easily extend to more fundamental economic and financial self-sufficiency. The proliferation of seed swapping, food self-provisioning, food cooperatives, ethical food (justice) initiatives has been witnessed worldwide. These food practices have often been defined in the public discourse against the industrial, placeless and seasonless food linked to the global food system. Such alternative agro-food practices and forms of sustainable consumption are also regarded as champions and pioneers of a new community economy, and therefore considered an indispensable element of a radical change to our dominant economic thinking, towards sustainability and equality. The special session aims to explore examples that promote a transition towards a sustainable and just food system by asking how such food initiatives and practices illustrate degrowth. We invite researchers to report related research outputs on sustainable and just food systems. Participants of the session are encouraged to critically reflect on the multiple pathways to sustainable food systems. Based on the brief introductory presentations, participants and experienced researchers will debate the following questions as related to degrowth:
- What are the main characteristics of these new practices? How do these alternative practices relate to the mainstream?
- What is the underlying economic model and its relation to growth, profit and intensification?
- How do governance structures (ranging from the individual, household, community, organisation to instituti