19 August 2019

How to make a just food future: Alternative foodways for a changing world

Bringing together academics, policymakers, artists and frontline practitioners, ‘How to Make a Just Food Future’ reflected on the state of food systems in the UK and internationally.

Rice field

Bringing together academics, policymakers, artists and frontline practitioners, ‘How to Make a Just Food Future’ reflected on the state of food systems in the UK and internationally.

Organised by a team including Dr Megan Blake, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography at the University of Sheffield, the two-and-a-half-day event questioned assumptions and challenged participants to think beyond food, presenting examples of ways in which collaborative working can set the agenda for a just food future.

The conference was particularly timely and relevant with political and economic uncertainty looking set to continue beyond 2019 with Brexit, austerity, trade wars and geopolitical instability having global repercussions.

While the conference illustrated the scope beyond food that work in food justice can have through community groups and organisations, presenters and discussants also talked about food waste; drew on the lived experiences of people experiencing food poverty; and showcased alternative models of provision, in order to show how food injustices pour into wider issues of inequality, agency and control in food systems.

Many of the initiatives discussed at the conference were rooted in community or self-organised groups who were working to alleviate logistical problems of food access. These micro cases reveal the structures of power underpinning food systems and how these can deprive people of agency.

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