15 June 2023 News

Sanz-Cañada, J.; Sánchez-Hernández, J.L.; López-García, D. Reflecting on the Concept of Local Agroecological Food Systems. Land 2023, 12, 1147

Despite the extensive literature on Local Agro-food Systems (LAFS), which involves research on local food identity and organisational proximity, the environmental sustainability of these systems has rarely been addressed. This paper develops a new concept called Local Agroecological Food Systems (LAEFS), which focuses the research not only on local food identity, but also on agroecological principles. We aim to conduct a reflexive review of the literature on the conceptual factors attempting to describe the particular characteristics of LAEFS (distinguishing these from LAFS). We explore five axes of analysis: (a) to establish a compromise at the local level between agro-food sectoral specialisation on the one hand and greater cultivated biodiversity and a more diversified economic structure on the other; (b) to geographically and commercially shorten food channels to the fullest extent; (c) to construct new institutional formulae in the fields of logistics, distribution and public procurement for the scaling up of sustainable food; (d) to develop a participatory, bottom-up, multi-stakeholder and multi-level territorial governance; and (e) to reduce the metabolic profile of food systems by reorganising rural-urban linkages. One of the principal objectives of LAEFS should involve redesigning agricultural and food systems at a scale greater than that of the farm (territory or landscape). This requires both a major public policy push and sustainable territorial governance that incorporate an approach based on territory, food systems and agroecology.