What if the Trucks Stop Coming? – PhD thesis by Cheron Constance

On Wednesday 21 June 2017 at 13.30 hrs Cheron Constance will defend her PhD thesis entitled ‘What if the trucks stop coming? Exploring the framing of local food by cooperative food retailers in New Mexico’ in the Auditorium of Wageningen University. The ceremony will be live streamed by WURTV but can be viewed later as well.

The full thesis will be available online after the defence ceremony.

 

Summary of the thesis

Proponents of local food cite a variety of economic and environmental advantages of short food supply chains. Consumer interest in local food has also offered a point of differentiation for many players in the food industry, including restaurants and grocery stores. Engaging with local food has significant challenges, however, and many production and distribution systems engender and support more diffuse food provisioning, not less. Though food can travel thousands of miles from its point of origin to consumption, many cooperative (co-op) grocery stores have long sold locally-produced food and have deep ties to their supplier communities. This thesis offers case studies of two co-ops in the natural and organic food sector and examines how they think about and work with local food. The theories of embeddedness (after Polanyi) and diverse economies (from Gibson-Graham) undergird the analyses of these co-ops’ involvement with local food and how the cooperative business model relates to it.

Boekpresentatie ‘Boeren in de Food Valley’

Voor het boek Boeren in de Food Valley sprak Janneke Blijdorp met vijftien agrariërs uit de Gelderse Vallei. Door schaalvergroting verdween de afgelopen decennia tachtig procent van de boerenbedrijven in dit gebied. De overgebleven boeren zetten in op de internationale voedselindustrie of juist op ambachtelijkheid en de lokale markt. De boeren vertellen in het boek over hun motivatie en toekomstverwachting. Vaak zijn zij al generaties lang met het gebied verbonden. Samen leveren de verhalen een verrassend divers beeld op van veerkrachtige ondernemers. Eric Veltink maakte fotoportretten van de boeren en hun bedrijf. U bent van harte welkom bij de presentatie van Boeren in de Food Valley op donderdagmiddag 24 November van 15.00 – 16.30 uur in De Schaapskooi op het erf van melkveehouder Cor den Hartog, Grote Veenderweg 10, 6741 MC Lunteren. Continue reading

Localizing Urban Food Strategies – Farming cities and performing rurality: call for abstracts for the 7th AESOP Sustainable Food Planning Conference

The 7th Aesop Sustainable Food Planning (SFP) Conference entitled “Localizing Urban Food Strategies: Farming cities and performing rurality” will take place in Torino (Italiy) from 7 to 9 October 2015.

Localizing urban food strategies refers to embedding sustainable food planning issues in place and in time within each specific local context. Moreover, by targeting planners, agronomists, designers, geographers, administrators, activists etc. engaged in the urban food debate, Farming cities and performing rurality aims at representing a platform for the development of fruitful perspectives for sustainable food planning policies and practices.

On the one hand, Farming cities refers to the development of innovative roles for agricultural production in and around the city, approaching in a structural manner the way agricultural issues are dealt (or should be dealt) with in contemporary urban policies. On the other hand, Performing rurality considers urban food strategies as a tool to define a cooperating relationship between the urban and the rural, reversing in terms of equality the traditional ideological subordination of the countryside to the city.

The activities of the Conference will be articulated around the following tracks: (i) Spatial planning and urban design, (ii) Governance and private entrepreneurship, (iii) Relevant experiences and practices, (iv) Training and jobs, (v) Flows and networks. There will be a specific activity for PhD students and young scholars.

Abstracts for one of the aforementioned tracks can be submitted until the 31st of May via the submission form on the conference website.

Twee thesis opdrachten lokaal voedsel – Almeerse Weelde

onderzoekerstadslandbouw

Deze zomer zijn een aantal wetenschapswinkelprojecten gestart, waardoor we verschillende studentenopdrachten in de aanbieding hebben. De opdracht waar ik laatst over schreef staat nog uit, maar we zijn nu voor een ander project ook op zoek naar twee studenten.

Dit wetenschapswinkelproject speelt zich ook af in Almere; de opdrachtgever is Almeerse Weelde. Almeerse Weelde (AW) bestaat uit ongeveer vijfentwintig mensen die zich bezighouden met lokaal voedsel. Sommigen van hen doen dat professioneel, anderen meer hobbymatig. Naast de verwerking van lokale producten, houdt AW zich bezig met bewustwording en kennisoverdracht over lokaal voedsel.

AWproducten

Momenteel denkt AW na over de toekomst; hoe en in welke richting kan ze zich verder ontwikkelen? Deze vraag heeft ze voorgelegd aan de wetenschapswinkel, die AW daarbij gaat ondersteunen. In die zoektocht komen verschillende vragen naar boven, zoals:

  • Wat zijn de faal- en succesfactoren van dit burgerinitiatief?
  • Hoe houdt je het samenwerkingsverband levendig?
  • Welke bedrijfsvorm past bij Almeerse Weelde?
  • Hoe kunnen…

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Student-assistenten gezocht voor de Dag van de Stadslandbouw

Op donderdag 15 mei vind in De Fabrique in Utrecht de Dag van de Stadslandbouw plaats, dit jaar in samenwerking georganiseerd met het PUREFOOD netwerk dat op 14 en 15 mei haar eindcongres houdt. Voor de Dag van de Stadslandbouw zijn de organisatoren nog op zoek naar een paar studenten die hand- en spandiensten kunnen verrichten op 15 mei (o.a. bij de ontvangst van de deelnemers en bij de start van de workshop sessies). Heb je belangstelling om te helpen, meld je dan aan bij Marco Lipsius van B2B Productions (marco.lipsius (at) b2bproductions.nl).

PUREFOOD conference teaser – The many benefits of local food

On May 14 and 15 2014 the PUREFOOD conference entitled “Take action? Collaborative action for more sustainable food systems” will take place in Utrecht (The Netherlands). The morning of the first day (Wednesday May 14) will take place in the Central Museum of Utrecht and consists of three inspirational presentations followed by a reflection by keynote listener Professor Tim Lang and discussions in workshops. In the afternoon there will be three excursions to urban and peri-urban agriculture and food initiatives in and around Utrecht.

The second day of the conference (Thursday May 15) will take place in DeFabrique in Utrecht. This second day is a joint event of PUREFOOD and the Day of Urban Farming, with a keynote speech by Claus Meyer (founder of the New Nordic Cuisine movement and co-owner of restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, which is considered to be the world’s best restaurant) and a wide variety of parallel workshops. For more information see the conference program.

As a teaser for the PUREFOOD conference Creative Beards has made a short animation movie addressing the main issues that have been studied in PUREFOOD.

Two food and urban farming conferences in The Netherlands in May 2014

Take action? Collaborative action for more sustainable food systems

PUREFOOD Conference, May 14th, Utrecht (The Netherlands)

On Wednesday May 14th 2014, the international PUREFOOD conference will take place in Utrecht (The Netherlands): “Take action? Collaborative action for more sustainable food systems.” This day marks the finalization of the EU-funded PUREFOOD program. The conference is connected to the Day of Urban Farming (‘Dag van de Stadslandbouw’), which takes place on May 15th in Utrecht.

The PUREFOOD conference starts with an informal drink and local bite on Tuesday evening the 13th of May. Wednesday morning the 14th will stimulate the dialogue between you and business, government and civil society representatives, with reflections by keynote listener Tim Lang (Professor of Food Policy at City University London). Taking 3 short, inspirational talks as the starting point, we will try to find answers to the rather challenging tasks we face for the (near) future with regard to making our food system more sustainable. With the experience of 12 PUREFOOD researchers, plus the presence of experienced and well-known scholars and practitioners, we can draw from a rich ‘database’ of knowledge. The challenge will be to connect all this knowledge present and translate it into advice for and action by various actors within our food system.

Wednesday afternoon 3 different excursions are offered, all visiting Utrecht and its peri-urban fringes. During the excursion you will experience the rich history of urban and peri-urban agriculture in Utrecht. The results of the workshop sessions and discussions on Wednesday morning, will feed into 9 English spoken sessions during the Day of Urban Farming on Thursday May 15th.

For more information: www.purefoodconference.com.

Third Edition Day of Urban Farming, The Netherlands

May 14th-17th Utrecht (The Netherlands)

After two previous editions in Almere (2012) and Rotterdam (2013), the Day of Urban Farming (‘Dag van de Stadslandbouw’) has become the authoritative professional event in the field of urban and urban oriented farming in The Netherlands. During this National Platform on May 15th 2014, its 400 participants and about 80 speakers will deal with the central topic how urban and peri-urban  farming and regional food systems can fulfill the needs of Dutch cities, its inhabitants and local farmers. Participants at the conference are farmers and urban farming entrepreneurs, food & agriculture executives and executives from city and regional governments, health organizations, social institutions, real estate developers, housing corporations, universities and colleges.

The conference consist of a plenary session with keynote speaker Claus Meyer (founder New Nordic Cuisine Movement; co-owner restaurant Noma (Copenhagen) and Sharon Dijksma (Minister of Agriculture of The Netherlands). The plenary session is followed by three rounds of breakout sessions, where one will be able to discuss a broad variety of urban farming subjects in further detail. Main items in 2014 will be:

  • health and social aspects
  • business models, value creation and economics
  • cultivation in and on buildings
  • urban area development and placemaking
  • sustainability and local cycles
  • local and regional food networks
  • urban and regional food policies and planning

For English speaking participants, 9 of the 27 breakout sessions will be held in English (in co-operation with the PUREFOOD conference). During three excursions on Wednesday May 14th, one will be able to meet farmers and urban gardeners in and around the city of Utrecht and hear about their experiences. On Saturday April 17th, the general public is invited to visit urban farms and urban gardens all over The Netherlands. In this way, local residents get the chance to become acquainted with urban farming projects in their own neighborhood.

For more information: www.dagvandestadslandbouw.nl.

Food Otherwise Conference – February 21, 22 2014, Wageningen

Food Otherwise Conference: Towards fair and sustainable food and agriculture systems
February 21, 22 2014 Wageningen.

More and more farmers, consumers, scientists and civil society organisations are working towards sustainable and fair ways of producing food. They are forging new relationships between farmers and consumers. They offer creative, dynamic and diverse alternatives to large-scale, anonymous and industrialised food production and the increasing influence of transnational corporations. Do you want to learn, experience, think along and discuss new and feasible food and agriculture systems with others? Would you like to build bridges and help to achieve a more sustainable and fair food and agriculture system? Do you want to get to know sustainable (young) farmers? Become inspired by innovative examples from the Netherlands, Flanders and abroad? Then come to our two day conference in Wageningen on 21 and 22 February 2014!

Keynote speakers Olivier de Schutter, UN rapporteur on the right to food • Pablo Tittonell, professor Farming Systems Ecology Wageningen University • Hanny van Geel, farmer and board member of La Via Campesina Europe • Vandana Shiva, Indian scientist and activist (tbc).

For whom? Farmers, consumers, scientists, beekeepers, students, artists, professionals in the food and agro sectors, policymakers, politicians and journalists. Translation English-Dutch provided in the plenary sessions. Some workshops will be in English. Workshops and discussions around several themes, such as: • Local food networks: from producer to consumer • The power of large agricultural corporations • Agro-ecology • Fair incomes for farmers • Urban agriculture • Permaculture / food forests • Fair trade and Agricultural policies • Land rights • Seeds and biodiversity • Soil and closed-loop agriculture

Thesis: the vegetable network

100_5864By Esther Veen, PhD student of Rural Sociology

Urban Agriculture is a trendy concept for a lot of recently set up neighbourhood gardens in cities. The goal is to connect people and food again is often said. I researched four neighbourhood gardens, looking specifically at the social and dietary effects for the people involved. While the new gardens are part of a trend, some gardens have a long history of a traditional allotment complex. Especially THOSE gardeners who not necessariy identify themselves as part of an urban agriculture movement, generally harvest large amounts of produce, that they cannot all consume themselves. Many of them therefore share their harvests with friends, families and colleagues. Continue reading

Vers voedsel in zorginstellingen

media_xl_1467666Het wordt vaak geroepen: lokaal vers voedsel heeft een positieve invloed op de gezondheid van patiënten in zorginstellingen. Of dit waar is, blijkt lastig te onderzoeken. Het is een vermoeden, niet meer en niet minder. Vorig jaar heeft een studente (Marina van Maanen) een MSc-thesis onderzoek gedaan naar de perceptie van ouderen in een zorginstelling in Brabant van lokaal voedsel (kijk hier voor haar rapport). Ook toen bleek het lastig om iets te zeggen over de relatie tussen lokaal voedsel en de gezondheid van patienten. Vorige maand verscheen er toch ineens een stuk in de trouw met de kop: Patient geneest sneller met vers voedsel uit de regio. Dus toch? Leest u zelf en oordeel. Het moet gezegd: in het proces naar duurzamere voedselnetwerken is  dit een zeer positieve ontwikkeling en kan het niet vaak genoeg in het nieuws komen. Echter, is het genoeg om grote zorginstellingen en ziekenhuizen te overtuigen? Er zijn geen harde bewijzen (en waarschijnlijk komen die er nooit), alleen indirecte indicatoren en indirecte kostenbesparingen.