Browsing by Subject "food system"

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  • Chen, Qiuzhen; Knickel, Karlheinz; Tesfai, Mehreteab; Sumelius, John; Turinawe, Alice; Isoto, Rosemary; Medyna, Galyna (2021)
    An important goal across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), and globally, is to foster a healthy nutrition. A strengthening of the diversity, sustainability, resilience and connectivity of food systems is increasingly seen as a key leverage point. Governance arrangements play a central role in connecting sustainable, resilient farming with healthy nutrition. In this article, we elaborate a framework for assessing, monitoring and improving the governance of food systems. Our focus is on food chains in six peri-urban and urban regions in SSA. A literature review on food chain governance and a mapping of current agri-food chains in the six regions provide the basis for the elaboration of an indicator-based assessment framework. The framework is adapted to the specific conditions of SSA and related goals. The assessment framework is then used to identify the challenges and opportunities in food chain governance in the six regions. The first testing of the framework indicates that the approach can help to identify disconnects, conflicting goals and tensions in food systems, and to formulate strategies for empowering agri-food chain actors in transitioning toward more efficient, equitable and sustainable agri-food systems. The article is concluded with a brief reflection on the strengths and weaknesses of the framework and suggests further testing and refinement.
  • Mazac, Rachel; Renwick, Kerry; Seed, Barbara; Black, Jennifer L. (2021)
    International organizations, governments, researchers, and activists have proposed the need for deeper integration of sustainability considerations in national food-based dietary guidelines (FBDGs). Yet, as recent scholarship advances the conversation, questions remain around how to effectively frame and address the interconnectedness of multiple sustainability domains. Little systematic analysis has evaluated how current FBDGs have integrated complex messages about socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable consumption practices with nutrition and health messages. This study had two nested objectives: (i) to examine the validity of an existing sustainable diets framework by assessing how sustainability concepts have been framed and included in national FBDGs available from 2011 to 2019 and (ii) to describe a novel analysis approach that augments an existing framework which integrates sustainability domains and can be adapted for use by future FBDGs. A qualitative content analysis was used to examine sustainability concepts found in 12 FBDGs and supporting documents available in English that were developed for use in 16 countries across Europe, North and South America, and Asia as of 2019-from a global review of those published prior to 2016 and gray literature review of publications between 2016 and 2019. Health domains were the primary frame found across the FBDGs examined, but documents also commonly incorporated agricultural, sociocultural, and economic sustainability principles. Analyzed documents were used to adapt an existing policy analysis framework into a "Sustainability in FBDGs Framework." This proposed framework contributes a novel analysis approach and has five core domains that are interconnected: health and nutrition, food security and agriculture, markets and value chains, sociocultural and political, and environment and ecosystems. This study adds to the growing body of literature related to sustainable food systems and dietary guidelines by presenting how sustainability framing in FBDGs can be used to further develop a comprehensive framework for integrating sustainability domains. While this project helps to validate previous work, further analyses of FBDGs which have emerged since this study and those not available in English are needed to improve the guidance approach described here and for assessing the incorporation of sustainability domains in future FBDGs. This work is useful in informing processes for policy developers to integrate sustainability considerations into their national FBDGs.
  • Salmivaara, Maikki (Helsingfors universitet, 2013)
    Food has featured in the global development agenda for several decades. However, increasing food prices and the global food crisis of 2007-2008, fuelled the debate around food security, which was also one the main thematic priorities of Finn Church Aid's strategy in 2009-2012. This thesis was commissioned by FCA in order to examine food security in the context of their development cooperation project in Cambodia. The purpose of the study is to support FCA and their local partner organization, the Lutheran World Federation Cambodia’s work on food security. The study has two objectives: to contribute to the understanding of the intertwined issues of rural development and food security, and to the understanding of the food security approach and intervention logics. Firstly, food reality is scrutinized in a Cambodian rural village. The focus is on the functioning of the food system at the local level, and as part of a wider food system reaching beyond the village boundaries and even the national level. In addition, the household level food security is analysed from the perspective of livelihoods - means of gaining a living - and different ways of commanding or accessing food. This level allows scrutinizing how village level changes in the food system affect different kinds of families. Secondly, the study analyses the food security approach of LWF, with regard to the village food reality and in the light of politicised international discourses on food security. The thesis is a contextual case study of the village of Chrokhlong, based on one month’s field work period in November and December 2010, as well as LWF Cambodia’s program documents and interviews with the staff. The field work material consists of 43 interviews with the villagers, 76 informal discussions and personal observation. Food security and general development themes in Cambodia are explored through literature and personal interviews. The study found that the local food security is affected by important changes of the wider food system. Population growth and economic liberalization increase pressures on land and natural resources in the village context. Accumulation and fragmentation of land and degradation of common resources are related to the increasing commoditization of the village food system. Food security has become an issue of purchasing power. Land for rice cultivation appears as the most important factor contributing to household food security. The most food insecure families lack land and means of generating incomes in order to purchase food, such as family members in working age and good health. The poorest families are the most affected by the depletion of common resources and the increasing food prices. At a strategic level, LWF has adopted a holistic approach to food security and defines their objective as 'right to food' in line with a rights based approach to development. However, at the practical level the approach seems narrower, and the work on food security focuses on enhancing food production. This focus risks not taking into account the food insecurity of the land-poor families who do not benefit from increasing productivity. The centrality of the land issue and the specific situation of the most food insecure families is no considered sufficiently. Based on this case study, an integrated and holistic rural development approach would seem to provide relatively more benefits to households that are able to produce to markets, while the food security of the poorest families can be even further threatened by a greater dependence of markets. While LWF’s ideals seem to reflect a 'food justice' discourse, their practical work is more in line with the hegemonic discourse labelled as 'food security', that does not aim at affecting the structural causes of food insecurity at different levels.
  • Kaljonen, Minna; Ott, Anna; Huttunen, Suvi; Kuusela, Assi-Jutta; Lonkila, Annika (CENDES, 2022)
    International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food
    Legumes receive increasing attention in sustainability transition research as they can contribute to more sustainable food systems. Previous research has established the need for policies relating to both production and consumption to tackle the marginalisation of legumes in European cropping systems and diets. In this paper, we apply the policy mix framework to food system transition and develop it further into an interpretive policy mix framework to evaluate policy mixes for more vital legume value chains. The interpretive policy mix framework facilitates a better understanding of competing policy frames in designing more consistent, coherent, and comprehensive policy mixes for transitions. The paper analyses three competing policy frames promoted by the food system actors, who are engaged in the development of legume production and consumption in Finland. A comparative analysis of the frames highlights that the policy objectives do not align well; currently, there is no shared understanding among food system actors of what kind of policy mix is needed for more vital legume value chains. The results emphasise networking as a key element in building more coherent policy mixes. The paper shows how the interpretive policy mix framework can support in this endeavour by unveiling conflict lines and possible compromises between the different policy frames.
  • Helenius, Juha (2022)
  • Lehtonen, Heikki S.; Aakkula, Jyrki; Fronzek, Stefan; Helin, Janne; Hildén, Mikael; Huttunen, Suvi; Kaljonen, Minna; Niemi, Jyrki; Palosuo, Taru; Pirttioja, Nina; Rikkonen, Pasi; Varho, Vilja; Carter, Timothy R. (Springer Nature, 2021)
    Regional Environmental Change 21: 7
    Shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs), developed at global scale, comprise narrative descriptions and quantifications of future world developments that are intended for climate change scenario analysis. However, their extension to national and regional scales can be challenging. Here, we present SSP narratives co-developed with stakeholders for the agriculture and food sector in Finland. These are derived from intensive discussions at a workshop attended by approximately 39 participants offering a range of sectoral perspectives. Using general background descriptions of the SSPs for Europe, facilitated discussions were held in parallel for each of four SSPs reflecting very different contexts for the development of the sector up to 2050 and beyond. Discussions focused on five themes from the perspectives of consumers, producers and policy-makers, included a joint final session and allowed for post-workshop feedback. Results reflect careful sector-based, national-level interpretations of the global SSPs from which we have constructed consensus narratives. Our results also show important critical remarks and minority viewpoints. Interesting features of the Finnish narratives compared to the global SSP narratives include greater emphasis on environmental quality; significant land abandonment in SSPs with reduced livestock production and increased plant-based diets; continued need for some farm subsidies across all SSPs and opportunities for diversifying domestic production under scenarios of restricted trade. Our results can contribute to the development of more detailed national long-term scenarios for food and agriculture that are both relevant for local stakeholders and researchers as well as being consistent with global scenarios being applied internationally.
  • Ritola, Roosa (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    The aim of this Thesis was to analyze Finnish food policy from a sustainability point of view. Changing operational environment, both globally and nationally, place food systems under a variety of economic, socio-cultural and ecological pressures. In addition to meet the basic objectives, such as ensuring food security, food systems are expected to fulfill a number of other goals. The drivers and goals, as well as means to food system change are defined in food policy. Considering the ecological, economic and sociocultural dimensions of sustainability in the food system analysis can also be viewed as an agroecological approach. A content analysis, using Atlas TI software was done for three most recent and topical Finnish food policy documents: Food2030 - government report on food policy, and the government programs for local and - organic food sectors. The food policy documents were analyzed with the following research questions in mind: how well is the need for systemic change recognized in the Finnish food policy; what are the main drivers for change; how are different dimensions of sustainability taken into account; is the change anticipated as gradual improvements to the current food system or are there any references suggesting radically reformed food system? The recently renewed Finnish food policy is specifically drafted with the current and forecasted changes in the operational environment in mind. The main drivers were mainly identified as sociocultural trends such as globalization, urbanization and changes in consumer behavior. The economic drivers, especially the competitiveness and export orientation of the food sector emerged as important goals for the future. The ecological dimension to food system reform gave the lowest share in all three categories (drivers, means and goals). A change in a complex system such as a food system takes place by affecting one partof the system at a time. The current Finnish food policy does not present radical changes or radical means to change the current system. However system-level changes can often be identified only afterwards.
  • Parviainen, Tuure; Helenius, Juha (2020)
    In Finland, while total agricultural production has remained relatively constant, nutrient input from industrial mineral fertilizers has declined over the past 20 years, which has been the target of environmental policies due to eutrophication risks. From 1996 to 2014, the use of nitrogen (N) declined by 18%, phosphorus (P) by 49%, and potassium (K) by 49%. However, at the same time, the international agricultural products trade has increased dramatically by mass (58%), and Finland has increased imports of food and feed products, such as, protein feeds, vegetables, and fruits. We analyzed the nutrient contents of foreign trade from 1996 to 2014 by using a substance flow analysis. We discovered that, when comparing nutrients contained in trade to the use of fertilizers, the trade of food and feed accounts for more than one-third (40%) of the fertilizer input to the Finnish food system. In 2014, 53 Gg of N, 8 Gg of P, and 15 Gg of K were imported due to trade, equating to 35%, 70%, and 45%, respectively, compared to the use of fertilizers in the food system. Declines in fertilizer inputs to crop production are partially offset by flows of plant nutrients from feed imports. In formulating agri-environmental policies targeting nutrient loading, more attention should be paid to national imports–export balances and, especially, to the spatial distribution of flows in feed trade.
  • Jurgilevich, Alexandra; Birge, Traci; Kentala-Lehtonen, Johanna; Korhonen-Kurki, Kaisa; Pietikäinen, Janna; Saikku, Laura; Schösler, Hanna (2016)
    Growing population and increased demand for food, inefficient resource use and food distribution, environmental impacts, and high rates of food wasted at all stages of the food system are all calling for transition towards more sustainable practices. In this article we apply the concept of circular economy to the case of a sustainable food system. Furthermore, we explore the transition towards a circular food system through the lens of socio-technical transition theory towards sustainability. We discuss challenges and potential solutions for the production stage (focusing on nutrient flow), the consumption stage (focusing on meat consumption), and food waste and surplus management and prevention.