Food chains or food webs?

The choice is becoming starker as we learn more about the impacts of industrial food delivered through long food chains. Do we want to support industrial food delivered through long food chains or sustainable food systems closer to home? This is the first of a series of extracts from Our Food Story. But first, here is Pete Russell personalising the shift from a long food chain to a food web advocate.

Food chains are the food system manifestation of supply chains. Globalised food chains are long food chains (LFC), while localised food chains are short food chains (SFC).

Short food chains

SFCs generate closer relationships between producers and consumers enabling the re-socialising of food. SFC offer consumers food with known provenance and enhanced quality. Critically, SFCs open opportunities for revitalising rural communities (Marsden, Banks, & Bristow, 2000). Face to face interactions between producers and consumers collapse the power-differences inherent in complex, globalising LFCs. (Feagan, 2007). Continue reading