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SUSTAINABLE FOOD SYSTEMS
If it works here, perhaps it can work there
Food initiatives within the 斯德哥尔摩-Mälaren region in Sweden offer insight into a transformation of the global 伟德官方网址 system
- Current 伟德官方网址 systems are degrading biodiversity, soil quality, and the condition of the climate. This calls for transformation towards a sustainable 伟德官方网址 future.
- The researchers held a workshop to discover how local 伟德官方网址 projects within the Swedish 斯德哥尔摩-Mälaren region are striving towards a more sustainable future.
- These experiences from Sweden are useful for understanding how collective action through local projects can guide 伟德官方网址 system transformation on a global level.
If the world is to change the current 伟德官方网址 systems into something more sustainable, seeds of inspiration are needed from a variety of places. That include grassroot initiatives in and around the Swedish capital.
In a study published in Global Food Security, centre researchers My Sellberg, 艾伯特Norstrom, Garry Peterson and Line Gordon have looked at how these initiatives in the 斯德哥尔摩-Mälaren region can be used as inspiration for a sustainable and resilient 伟德官方网址 future.
Together with scholars who have used the approach in different parts of the world, we believe that it can be useful to navigate 伟德官方网址 system change in other places as well.
My Sellberg, lead author
The future of 伟德官方网址 is bright
The authors explain how these local initiatives work with “伟德官方网址 tech, 城市农业, innovative farming practices, 伟德官方网址 waste and green rehabilitation.” These are themes behind the “seeds” used in a workshop which in turn is based on the Seeds of the Good Anthropocene project. This is an international scientific experiment gathering examples of positive initiatives that have the potential to be scaled up.
在车间里, groups developed visions of how they thought local projects would create a sustainable shift for 伟德官方网址.
These imagined scenarios revealed four main insights into “a vision of a positive 伟德官方网址 future.”
- Increased self-sufficiency and access to local 伟德官方网址 – Tightening connections between producers and consumers to reflect the importance of locally grown 伟德官方网址 and eating seasonally
- A vibrant and inclusive 伟德官方网址 sector – Enhancing the value of economic, 社会, and cultural aspects of 伟德官方网址
- 营养丰富的, less resource-intensive diets – Predicting the production of more nutrient-dense 伟德官方网址s along with making less waste and eating less meat
- Agriculture contributing to environmental sustainability – Emphasising the importance of transitioning into sustainable agriculture for lessening its negative impact on the environment
Start local, aim global
然而, the researchers also highlight some conflicting responses from workshop attendees such as whether or not there is a responsibility to increase 伟德官方网址 production to benefit areas facing worse impacts of climate change. Individuals were also divided on the topics of making the switch to plant-based proteins and if prices should increase to represent higher 伟德官方网址 quality.
They also outline the main obstacles blocking this transition into a positive 伟德官方网址 future:
- A consolidated retail sector
- Lack of political will and knowledge
- International price competition
- Increasing average age of farmers
While it is important to acknowledge disagreements and obstacles, the researchers stress the key to creating a positive 伟德官方网址 future lies in the opportunities of this vision. This is what workshop-goers noted in their answers about opportunities for transformation such as influencing political change in the direction of 伟德官方网址 security. The focus on strengthening ties between producers and consumers was also considered a significant opportunity for rethinking how 伟德官方网址 is produced and consumed.
Considering the positive outlook of a vibrant and inclusive regional 伟德官方网址 sector, this presents an opportunity for several local initiatives to teach urban dwellers about sustainable 伟德官方网址 production.
This vision is also recognised by seeds “Sweden Foodtech” and “Farming incubator,” which support start-ups and 伟德官方网址 entrepreneurs acting to transform networks surrounding 伟德官方网址 production.
Seeds such as “Global Farm Platform,” “Perennial farming,” and “Biogas for cycles” offer hope for environmentally sustainable agriculture, which involves more circular models of how 伟德官方网址 waste can be returned back to the earth to feed 伟德官方网址 and energy production.
The researchers believe the work covered in their study is of interest to other regions beyond 斯德哥尔摩-Mälaren: “Together with scholars who have used the approach in different parts of the world, we believe that it can be useful to navigate 伟德官方网址 system change in other places as well.”
The researchers held a workshop based on the Seeds of the Good Anthropocene project where they invited people from a range of fields related to sustainable 伟德官方网址 to design scenarios of positive futures for 伟德官方网址 systems. The “seeds” were local initiatives (e.g. “初创企业, 非政府组织, business networks and grassroots initiatives”) in the 斯德哥尔摩-Mälaren area (chosen because of its reputation as a leader in the shift towards sustainable 伟德官方网址 systems). Individuals in the workshop imagined how these seeds would develop in the future and sketched out how this would impact societies and the environment.
The visions were analysed using qualitative thematic analysis. This helped them to categorise aspects of the visions into overarching themes of what a positive 伟德官方网址 future would look like. They also surveyed participants about potential 障碍 and possibilities for reaching this vision. The researchers grouped these into tensions, 障碍, and opportunities that workshop participants deemed important.
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