The Sustainability of Community Food Production Projects: Case

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The Sustainability of Community Food Production Projects: Case Studies
From The Ground Up.
Lucy Rose Wright
[email protected]
Word Count: 364
In the past decade there has been a steady re-emergence of communities
actively engaged in small-scale locally based food production projects. The
contribution of these projects to the future challenges faced by society
(socially, environmentally and economically) has been much hypothesised.
The question remains though about how sustainable these projects actually
are beyond rhetoric, and whether those organising and participating within
have considered the longevity of the project’s they are committed to. It is
necessary to understand what sustainability means to these projects, how it is
defined, negotiated and whether it is contested. Additionally to study whether
projects have the capacity and networks structures to sustain themselves and
remain part of a progressively vital resource of food. This research serves to
build on the body of research, which has highlighted that community projects
face socioeconomic problems.
The subject of this study is of critical importance to ensure that the current
landscape of community food projects is embedded within the community,
reaching both marginalised and non-marginalised members of the society in
which they operate. This research seeks to discover whether participation is
becoming more demographically diverse and the rationale behind any
change. The field requires in depth research into the motivations and benefits
of participation in community food production projects from the people
themselves.
The research will employ qualitative research methodologies, which includes
mapping the ‘foodscape’ of Kingston Upon Hull, conducting semi-structured
interviews of community food project organisers and developing four
instrumental case studies of established and establishing projects through
accompanying ethnographic observation and focus group discussions. The
case study projects represent those producing food or projects producing
knowledge about food. The data analysis will run in parallel to and will inform
the data collection.
The results will produce knowledge about how sustainable community food
production projects are for the future, through research in the field by
investigating the opportunities and challenges faced by the projects by those
involved. The outcomes of the research should serve to raise relevant
concerns of those already involved in community food production projects and
those embarking on initiating their own.
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