No Time for Justice?! – Food Policy and Emergency Thinking in the Brexit Moment

Imagine a process in which food and farming policies were designed with social justice as the central tenet. What would such a process look like? Whose voices would be heard, and whose interests would be represented? What questions would need to be asked and how would we know that social justice had been addressed? Our recently published article speaks to these questions by looking at debates around UK food and farming policy in the post-Brexit context. We examined how and to what extent social justice was represented in the policy discourse on food and …

In solidarity with anti-racism struggles in the US and beyond

The murder of George Floyd has laid bare, once again, the abhorrent anti-black racism within policing in the USA. The video of the killing of George Floyd captured one instance of the racist and violent conditions that African Americans live with daily. The widespread hurt and pain of centuries of anti-blackness in policing and more broadly in society, forms the basis of sustained and powerful African American-led protests across every state in the USA.   In acts of solidarity, and in resistance to anti-blackness in the USA, and against carceral, colonial, and racist policing in many …

2020 – a Super Year for Biodiversity?

At the end of February, a meeting of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) to develop the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework was held in FAO, Rome. I was there with the IPC for Food Sovereignty. Delegates were preparing a plan of actions needed to reverse biodiversity loss. The hype leading up to the meeting was that it marked the start of a ‘Super Year for Biodiversity’. An ever-vocal Civil Society representation present at the meeting, was clamouring for transformative changes, including expanding the use of biodiverse agroecology. But, as the IPC reflected after the meeting there’s also a need to confront corporate …

Prioritising Agroecology and Challenging Corporate Technology-Led Approaches in the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and Beyond

In December 2019, Ms. Agnes Kalibata, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.  Over the last two months, a range of actors[i] have voiced their concerns over this appointment, that has been criticized for giving weight to a corporate-led, industrial and productivist development model, and reinforcing the highly problematic status quo of the current unsustainable food systems. As scholars committed to approaches to food systems that put the well-being of people and nature at the …

New Special Issue on Agroecology Transformations: Connecting the dots to enable agroecology transformations

This special issue on Agroecology Transformations, published today in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, includes six articles sharing new insights into the process and kinds of transformations needed to enable agroecology as a model for a more just and sustainable food system. Agroecology is coming into its own as an alternative paradigm to corporate-led industrial food systems. Evidence of the advantages, benefits, impacts, and multiple functions of agroecology abounds (see: HLPE 2019 for a review). For many the evidence is clear: agroecology, together with ‘food sovereignty’, offer a pathway for more just and sustainable food …

New Backgrounder: Scaling Agroecology from the Bottom up: Six Domains of Transformation

How can we enable the scaling of agroecology from the Bottom up? What is needed for agroecology be advanced, amplified, scaled up and out? In each context, there are enabling and disabling conditions that shape the potential for agroecology to be scaled. This Food First Issue Brief identifies six ‘domains of transformation’ that are essential to consider in agroecology transformations. This brief compliments a range of publications, ideas, videos, briefs and more that we aim to inform agroecology transformations. All of these are available for you to use freely, please feel free to use …

Lume: New publication on method of economic-ecological analysis to support Agroecology

In spite of the growing recognition of agroecology around the world, there is still a significant lack of adequate tools for the study of the economic basis of agroecosystems that are appropriate for the modes of production and livelihoods of family farmers and indigenous people. The Lume method for economic-ecological analysis of agroecosystems presented in this new publication [Click here to download] of the Reclaiming Diversity and Citizenship Series(open access, free to download) is a contribution to bridge this gap. The method was developed under coordination of the Brazilian NGO AS-PTA (www.aspta.org.br) with the …

Building Resilience to Natural Disasters in populated African Mountain Ecosystems

As part of CAWR’s Stabilisation Agriculture Programme, I recently visited Chimanimani district in Zimbabwe to initiate comparative research on how conventional and agroecologically managed landscapes coped with the impacts of Cyclone Idai in March 2019. Idai deposited the total annual rainfall in the first twelve hours alone – yet sat over and devastated Chimanimani for three days. Written by George McAllister from the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience. This wasn’t the first time I’d visited Chimanimani. In fact, I undertook my own doctoral research on social farming and conflict in this same area …

New Policy Brief – Nourishing Life. Territories of Life and Food Sovereignty

“Local communities on all continents are being displaced and impoverished by the combined actions of top down, ‘people-out’ fortress conservation and the expansion of industrial agriculture. This silent violence can be reversed by strengthening self-determining indigenous and community conserved areas as well as local food sovereignty. This is all about re-inventing conservation and development for a just and sustainable world”. – Michel Pimbert Drawing on practical examples from eight countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, the Policy Brief Nourishing Life. Territories of Life and Food Sovereignty is the outcome of a long term collaboration between …

Shifting from Industrial Agriculture to Diversified Agroecological Systems in China

This freshly published book (open access, free to download) offers a new perspective on how to shift from industrial agriculture to diversified Agroecological Systems in China and contributes to recent debates on agroecology transitions and transformation. In 2008, China experienced its most severe food safety scandal—the melamine tainted milk that sickened 300,000 infants and killed several of them. This scandal culminated a series of other food safety scandals throughout the 2000s and had far-reaching impacts on China’s food sector beyond the dairy industry. Ever since, food safety has long been ranked one of the top …