We look at the tensions, compromises and opportunities involved in scaling sustainable food system initiatives up and out.
The issue of scale raises questions about how (or if) we can scale place-based sustainable food systems initiatives up and out without compromising their goals.
We know that community scale solutions to food insecurity, diet-related disease, social injustice and ecological degradation are necessary. But we also recognize the need to build relationships and networks across communities and regions as part of a transition to more sustainable food systems.
As place-based initiatives scale up and out, might they lose their focus on social justice, ecological revitalization and local economies? If so, what can be done to reduce that risk? We look to examples such as regional food distribution hubs that help scale up local food systems work by creating stable markets for local farmers, and also providing food to marginalized communities.