The negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have further exposed and exacerbated the structural weaknesses and inequalities embedded in the global industrial agri-food system. While the mainstream narrative continues to emphasise the importance of ensuring the uninterrupted functioning of global supply chains to counter COVID-related disruptions, the pandemic has also highlighted the resilience of small-scale, sustainable family farming and of spatially and socially embedded food systems. Based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of three surveys, this study examines organic and agroecological farmers' responses to the first COVID-related lockdown (March-May 2020) in Italy, as well as the responses of grassroots alternative food networks (AFN) in the city region of Rome. The results show how local grassroots action played a significant role in ensuring food access, provisioning, and distribution, often in the face of delayed or insufficient action of mainstream food system actors and institutions. These grassroots responses identify opportunities and barriers for agri-food system transformation away from neoliberal, market-based interventions and towards policies that support food sovereignty and democracy in the context of localised, agroecology-based and more resilient agri-food systems.

Towards Territorially Embedded, Equitable and Resilient Food Systems? Insights from Grassroots Responses to COVID-19 in Italy and the City Region of Rome

Davide Marino;Simona Tarra
2021-01-01

Abstract

The negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have further exposed and exacerbated the structural weaknesses and inequalities embedded in the global industrial agri-food system. While the mainstream narrative continues to emphasise the importance of ensuring the uninterrupted functioning of global supply chains to counter COVID-related disruptions, the pandemic has also highlighted the resilience of small-scale, sustainable family farming and of spatially and socially embedded food systems. Based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of three surveys, this study examines organic and agroecological farmers' responses to the first COVID-related lockdown (March-May 2020) in Italy, as well as the responses of grassroots alternative food networks (AFN) in the city region of Rome. The results show how local grassroots action played a significant role in ensuring food access, provisioning, and distribution, often in the face of delayed or insufficient action of mainstream food system actors and institutions. These grassroots responses identify opportunities and barriers for agri-food system transformation away from neoliberal, market-based interventions and towards policies that support food sovereignty and democracy in the context of localised, agroecology-based and more resilient agri-food systems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11695/116493
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