Co-creating Agroecological Symbioses (AES) for sustainable food system networks

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Helenius , J , Hagolani-Albov , S & Koppelmäki , K 2020 , ' Co-creating Agroecological Symbioses (AES) for sustainable food system networks ' , Frontiers in sustainable food systems , vol. 4 , 588715 . https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2020.588715

Title: Co-creating Agroecological Symbioses (AES) for sustainable food system networks
Author: Helenius, Juha; Hagolani-Albov, Sophia; Koppelmäki, Kari
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute, Mikkeli
University of Helsinki, Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Helsinki, Ruralia Institute, Mikkeli
Date: 2020-11-19
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Frontiers in sustainable food systems
ISSN: 2571-581X
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/321911
Abstract: Critics of modern food systems argue for the need to shift from a consolidated and concentrated, often monoculture based agro-industrial model toward diversified, post-fossil, and nutrient recycling food systems. The abundance of acute and obvious environmental problems in the agricultural sub-systems of the broader food system(s) have resulted in a focus on technological and natural scientific research into "solving" these point of production problems. Yet, there are many facets of food systems that are vital to sustainability which are not addressed even if the environmental problems were solved. In this article, we argue for agroecological symbiosis (AES) as a generic arrangement for re-configuring the primary production of food in agriculture, the processing of food, and development of a food community to work toward system-level sustainability. The guiding principle of this concept was the desire to base farming and food processing on renewable bioenergy, to close nutrient cycles, to break away from the consolidated food chain, to be more transparent and connected with consumers, and to revitalize the rural spaces where farms generally operate. Through a consistent and robust collaboration and co-creative process with transdisciplinary actors, ranging from food producers, and processers to policy actors, we designed a food system model based on networks of AES (NAES). The NAES would form place-based food networks, replacing the consolidated commodity chains. The NAES supports sustainable interactions from a biophysical and socio-cultural perspective. In this paper, we explain the AES concept, give an overview of the process of co-creating the pilot AES, and a proposal for the extension of the AES, as NAES, to create sustainable food systems. Overall, we conclude that the AES model holds potential for creating place-based food systems that further the sustainability agenda.
Subject: 415 Other agricultural sciences
agroecology
sustainable food systems
co-creation of knowledge
citizen science
transformation
agroecology
circularity
post-fossil
sustainable transformation
co-creation
industrial symbiosis
bioenergy
plant nutrient recycling
ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
ECO-EFFICIENCY
METABOLIC RIFT
BIOGAS
AGRICULTURE
STRATEGIES
CONSUMER
CONSEQUENCES
BIODIVERSITY
INNOVATION
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