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Local food system: impacts and learning challenges

{Project} LOFO: Local food system: impacts and learning challenges. [Paikallinen ruokajärjestelmä - vaikutukset ja oppimishaasteet.] Runs 2003 - 2004. Project Leader(s): Seppänen, Laura, the University of Helsinki .

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Document available online at: http://tripunix.mtt.fi/cgi-bin/thw/?${BASE}=arktui&${HTML}=docu_eng&${SNHTML}=nosyn_eng&${TRIPSHOW}=for=www_eng&NR=310-06


The impact of localisation within the learning food system origin of food and the various ways of food production have gained wide interest in recent years. Localising food production has been suggested as one possible solution to the problems caused by increasing globalisation of our food system and by the depopulation of the countryside. In Finland, about fifty projects focusing on the practical aspects of local food has been initiated, but so far information dealing with the many-faceted questions connected to the possible positive and negative consequences of localising the food systems is largely lacking. Among other things, the new ways to co-operate and communicate in the process of localising the food systems need to be searched. The aim of the project proposal is to produce such information along with the information contributing to the basic functions of the food production and consumption.
In the study a multidisciplinary approach is applied to the analysis and visualisation the functioning of a local, rural food system. The study combines three points of view on the food system: ecological-material, economical, and social. These are integrated by a shared empirical case: the food system of a rural Finnish municipality practising conventional and organic farming and aiming to increase the use of local food. The social aspect with its activity-theoretical approach analyses the problems and developmental contradictions in the functioning of the rural food chain, with a special focus on organic production and local food. The material-ecological and the economical functioning of the rural food system will be modelled. The sustainability -concept bridges the various aspects of the study together. The actors of the food system will be involved onto the study by planning together with them a unified local strategy of action. The study, thus, produces on the one hand an interdisciplinary, integrated approach to research of local food systems. On the other hand, it provides knowledge and tools for local actors of the food systems. In the end, the results will be generalised by literature. The results will thus contribute to the multidisciplinary sustainability research, but they also have practical value for the local actors, and they will benefit the national food quality strategy (kansallinen laatustrategia) and quality information bank (laatutietopankki).

EPrint Type:Project description
Location:PL 47, 00014 Helsinki University, Finland
Keywords:food system, food chain, local food, sustainable agriculture, local economy, material flow, energy flow, environmental impact, ecological effects, learning, system analysis
Subjects: Food systems
Research affiliation: Finland > Univ. Helsinki
Finland > Luke Natural Resources Institute
Research funders: Finland > Univ. Helsinki
Finland > Luke Natural Resources Institute
Related Links:http://www.agronet.fi/luotu
Start Date:1 January 2003
End Date:30 December 2004
Deposited By: Nykänen, Arja
ID Code:5684
Deposited On:14 Sep 2005
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:27

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