Foodshed analysis for Otago region

A Systems and Implementing
approach to food resilience
Submitted by Anjali Singh
The ultimate preparedness for any community is in its “food security”.
Food security can be achieved by being self reliant in food production. It’s
high time to relook at our “conventional food systems” and to acquire
“local food resilience”.
 Agricultural production and food consumption are increasingly becoming
 Food miles is a term which refers to the distance food is transported from
the time of its production until it reaches the consumer.
 The conventional food system is characterised by dependence on
mechanization, fuel, fertilizers and pesticides.
 Environmental problems attributed to the industrial food system include
deforestation, over-use of cropland, soil and water pollution, and
biodiversity loss.
 Unique experience in the developed world include reoccurring outbreaks
of infectious diseases , obesity, and diabetes epidemic.
A foodshed is the geographic region that produces the food for a particular
It enables planners to further understand the food needs and the ability for selfreliance. Helps to direct land use decisions to help anticipate future needs.
It immediately highlights the inefficiencies, risks, and missed opportunities of our
present food production system. It readily provides suggestions and tools for policy
and action.
It gives us an avenue to build relationships among people, social groups,
institutions, and the place in which they are embedded, all currently disconnected
by the global food economy.
To understand the capacity for the Otago Region to supply its own food needs
To evaluate the food production potential of the region’s productive land relative to
the food needs of its population, and to promote more resilient food systems that
have a stronger focus on localisation.
The assessment will assist producers to understand what opportunities exist to
transition away from export-driven commodity production to locally-focussed
production that meets the needs of a specific population.
Understanding The Systems
Source: Referenced from the curriculum on Nourish, a program of the non-profit World Link
Environmental system
The environmental degradation of soil and water resources caused by
conventional, industrial agriculture has become apparent (Kloppenburg 1996).
Farmers that support the local foodshed and direct sales to consumers are more
likely to be engaged in alternative agricultural practices.
Similarly, because most people who are looking to purchase locally are also looking
for sustainably grown food, local foods can represent more environmentally
sensitive production (Pirog 2009).
We identified that the majority of the existing Otago food system is a conventional
food system. But simultaneously there is an increased demand for locally grown
food .
Economic system
Money spent locally at farmers’ markets, farm stands and community supported
agriculture programs is an investment in the community.
Buying local products at locally owned businesses keeps money circulating closer to
where you live. This create a rippled effect as those businesses & their employees in
turn spend their money locally.
Source: Florence Micoud presentation
The key challenge for regional governance in promoting food resilience in Otago
region is to manage mutually competing goals of conventional food system and
local food system.
While conventional food system brings prosperity to a few individuals / entities
only, often to large corporate. Local food systems reward growers more than the
retailers and distributers
It is imperative to manage these competing goals
The best way to move forward is by incentivising the organic farming and other
sustainable agricultural practices at the regional level of governance.
Social system
Conventional food system are like islands in the vast oceans and therefore are
“detached” with the local society. People are increasingly disconnected with their
foods provided through conventional food system.
Consumers have an increasing interest in knowing where their food comes from and
how it is produced, and they want to “revive” the sense of connection with their local
The local foodshed offers consumers the opportunity to directly interact with local
farmers and other like-minded community members.
This interaction strengthens community relationships. Promoting local foods can also
involve engaging local citizens in growing their own food through community farming
and gardening projects.
Drivers of Change
Drivers of change that influence our food system at different scales
Global level
Population explosion
Peak oil
Food security
Climate change
Technological innovations
Political instability
National level
 Per capita income and
 Changing market chains
 Shifts in public policy
 Food Security
Regional & Local level
 Climatic changes in different parts of the country.
 Changes in public sentiment and values
 Emerging trust in local food system and accompanied erosion of trust in conventional
food system
 Transport and accessibility to large scale food systems; need to relocalise for lower
energy use related to transport
The funnel metaphor
Local market
Agriculture diversification
Influence of local food choice
Availability of land
Crude oil
Soil health
Restoration of biodiversity
Trust in food safety
Access to fresh food
Community engagement
Willingness to support local food
Organic farming
Food choices
Public private partnership
Redesign agriculture
Employment opportunities
Trade and Exchange
Food miles
Food processing & packaging
Food export & Import
Fuel dependency Usage of agrochemicals
Health risk Climate change impacts
Environmental degradation
Food demand
Waste generation
Increasing time
Opening up the funnel
Crude oil
Preserving food safety
Protecting local farms and farmers
Availability of land
Improving nutrition and health
Soil health
Increased bio-diversity
Willingness to support local food
Community engagement
Advancing environmentally sensitive agricultural practices
Reduced risk from agro-chemicals
Organic farming
Public private partnership
Enhancing local economics
Employment opportunities
Fostering community interaction and social networking
Food export & Import
Food prices
Reduced impact of transportation
Fuel dependencyFood demand
Reduced ecological footprint
Climate change impacts
Reduced food packaging
Waste generation
Increasing time
Analysis of the four system conditions
Industrialized Food System
Local Food System
Crude oil
Less energy intensive
Fossil fuel consumption
Reduced food miles
Mining of metals and heavy metals
Sustainable use of resources
Reduced packaging and
Use of fertilizers, pesticides and
High inputs of other agrichemicals
Use of preservatives
High GHG emissions
Use of natural or bio mimicry
techniques to reduces use of
Close loop cycle
Toxic waste
Non toxic waste
Less waste to landfills
More waste to landfills
Eliminate ecosystem damage
Analysis of the four system conditions
Industrialized Food System
Local Food System
Over- Grazing, Deforestation
Regeneration of biodiversity
Air ,water & soil pollution
Use of bio-degradable products
Loss of biodiversity
Food prices & Affordability
Busier lifestyles – processed food
Enrich soil
Eliminate eutrophication of
Access to an adequate,
affordable, nutritious diet;
New jobs
Health risks- obesity (low nutrition
food, canned food etc)
Healthier food
Profit remains with large corporate
Community well being
1. Mapping potential foodsheds in New York State: A spatial model for
evaluating the capacity to localize food production
 In this study they developed a hybrid spatial-optimization model to map potential local
foodsheds and to evaluate the capacity for NYS population centres to supply their food
needs within the state’s boundaries.
 The model characterized the food production potential of the state’s land and the food
needs of its population centres within a GIS.
 The GIS provided input for an optimization model that allocated NYS food production
capacity to meet the food needs of NYS population centres in the minimum possible
The mapping method for Otago would be different from the above mentioned study but
the objective remains same i.e. The goal of the research is to evaluate the food
production potential of the region’s productive land relative to the food needs of its
population, and in doing so, to promote more resilient food systems that have a stronger
focus on localisation.
2. Think Globally ~ Eat Locally San Francisco Foodshed Assessment
 In this study authors answered the question, “Could the City of San Francisco
feed itself with local food from farms and ranches within 100 miles of the
Golden Gate?”
 The 100-mile foodshed was utilized in response to the growing acceptance of
this measurement.
 The use of the term locavore originated in Berkeley and challenged people to
eat within 100 miles. Since then 100-mile diets have been encouraged in
regions across North America.
 San Francisco agricultural production capacity was measured within the 100
miles, as was consumer dietary spending and estimated intake for each
Methodology of our project would be different it may not takes into account
consumer dietary spending.
How food self-reliant
Otago region is?
Present situation
Backcasting – Defining Success
The foodshed promotes community self-reliance. True food security is only
possible when a community is capable of feeding itself.
The foodshed is embedded within a moral economy that contains and
restrains market forces, rather than the other way around.
The foodshed is a healthy environment and culture. It means there are
sustainable relationships among the people there, and between people and
the land that feeds them.
The foodshed is a framework or theory that helps define our the ideal
ecological food footprint. As such, it could be used a benchmark to measure
environmental sustainability and the efficiency of our food system.
To build strong local food networks and support local businesses by increase
our shared knowledge and skills around opportunities.
Data required
Land use land cover
What is grown where (maps)
Allocation of farmland
What products used & where do they come from?
List of veg/ fruits grown
What is grown where and in what quantity?
Exported food products
List of exported food items and their trends?
Imported food products
List of exported food items and their trends?
how many vehicles and distance travelled?
what are your other liquid / gas by-products and in which stage?
Past, current, future estimates, trends?
How do you help people meet their needsWhat does the population
consume? How is actual consumption different from dietary
Community associations
& community groups
Otago regional Council
& Local District Councils
Industry trade
A SWOT analysis of the project
Low Cost Set Up
Application of Geographical Information
System (GIS) tool to collect and analyse
data and offer real time precise solutions
Can offer real time solutions to regional
governance to take informed rectifying
Lack of availability of some data sets of
real -time up to date data
Weak Infrastructure : This work involves
lot of GIS work and there is no GIS lab
Project Funding
Promote economic development focussed
on localisation
Lack of Stakeholder’s support
Use as a tool for Councils when considering
rules for land use
Support from regional governance
Address local food accessibility issues
Strengthens community engagement
towards sustainable local food system
• Collection of data:- Spatial and non spatial (commodity groups: grains, dairy,
meat, fruit, vegetables, poultry and eggs)
• Appropriate infrastructure (GIS Set Up)
• To integrate census farmland data, regional food yield and GIS data to construct
local food production estimates in each district in the Otago Region
• To perform spatial and networking analysis
• To meet with stakeholders to validate regional statistics
• Structured interviews with key stakeholders such as producer cooperatives and
industry trade representatives
• Organizing Workshops and sharing information and community
• Mapping food production of the region, its movement and potential
understanding community needs and assessing food consumption
Halwell, Brian. 2002. Home Grown, The Case for Local Food in a Global Market. Ed.
Thomas Prugh. Worldwatch Paper 163. Washington DC: Worldwatch Institute.
Hess, D. 2008. “Localism and the Environment.” Social Compass. 2:2, 625- 638.
Kloppenburg, Jr., Jack, John Hendrickson, and GW Stevenson. 1996. Coming into the
Foodshed. Agriculture and Human Values 13, no. 3 (Summer): 33-42.
Kneen, B. (1989): From Land to Mouth – Understanding the Food System. Toronto, NC
Press Limited.
Murphy, Pat. 2008. Plan C, Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate
Change. Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers.
Pirog, Richard. 2009. Local Foods: Farm fresh and environmentally friendly. In Science
Year2009. Chicago: World Book Publishing. (accessed
December 10, 2008).
VLGA (2008) Literature Review: Food Security and Land Use Planning prepared by La
Trobe University
A special thanks to Ella Lawton, Steve Henry and Rhys
Millar for their support !!