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 global. 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 population. • 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 Governance • 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 foods. • 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 urbanization 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 Rainfall 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 Transport Food export & Import Fuel dependency Usage of agrochemicals Health risk Climate change impacts Environmental degradation Food demand Waste generation Population Increasing time Present Future Opening up the funnel Rainfall 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 Transport Fuel dependencyFood demand Reduced ecological footprint Climate change impacts Reduced food packaging Waste generation Population Increasing time Present Future Analysis of the four system conditions 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 Transportation Reduced packaging and processing 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 chemicals 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 System Conditions Industrialized Food System Local Food System Over- Grazing, Deforestation Regeneration of biodiversity Air ,water & soil pollution Use of bio-degradable products Refrigeration Loss of biodiversity Food prices & Affordability Busier lifestyles – processed food Enrich soil Eliminate eutrophication of waterways 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 http://www.reeis.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/0203185-mapping-local-food-systems-potential-in-newyork-state-spatial-modeling-of-an-emerging-opportunity-for-small-farmers-and-local-consumers.html 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 distance. Comparison 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 http://www.farmland.org/programs/states/ca/Feature%20Stories/San-Francisco-Foodshed-Report.asp 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 commodity. Comparison 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 1. The foodshed promotes community self-reliance. True food security is only possible when a community is capable of feeding itself. 2. The foodshed is embedded within a moral economy that contains and restrains market forces, rather than the other way around. 3. 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. 4. 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. 5. To build strong local food networks and support local businesses by increase our shared knowledge and skills around opportunities. Items 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? Transport how many vehicles and distance travelled? Emissions what are your other liquid / gas by-products and in which stage? Population Past, current, future estimates, trends? Community How do you help people meet their needsWhat does the population consume? How is actual consumption different from dietary guidelines? Community associations & community groups Producer cooperatives Potential Stakeholders Otago regional Council & Local District Councils Industry trade representatives A SWOT analysis of the project Strengths 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 decisions Opportunities Weakness 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 Threats 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. www.leopold.iastate.edu/research/marketing_files/WorldBook.pdf (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 !!