The challenges of re-localising our systems

There are encouraging numbers of local selling systems (box schemes, farmers markets, CSAs etc) but the growing systems that supply these often have some important inputs that are not local at all. Fertility, energy, seeds, labour, bio-control, sundries are often imported. Does it matter where the key inputs for local food production come from, how far they travel, or who owns the company that supplies them? Building on the plenary and other relevant sessions, the aim of this discussion is to identify which of the key inputs into vegetable growing systems can be obtained locally – and which of those that could be, or should be local, are more commonly brought in from a distance. What needs to happen to make these key inputs available locally – and what might happen if we don’t find a local solution? Do we need new knowledge, new skills, or new systems? Can we prioritise what needs to happen in terms of current economic feasibility, and in terms of resilience (the two might not match at the moment)?


Theme: business markets
Published: 22nd January 2014
Author: Wendy Seel