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Open AccessArticle

Beyond Sustainability in Food Systems: Perspectives from Agroecology and Social Innovation

Department of Agriculture, Food, Environment and Forestry (DAGRI), University of Florence, 50121 Firenze, Italy
Eurac Research, 39100 Bolzano, Italy
Laboratory of Global Ecology, Department of Biosciences and Territory, University of Molise, 86090 Pesche (IS), Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7524;
Received: 29 April 2020 / Revised: 7 August 2020 / Accepted: 10 August 2020 / Published: 11 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Farming for Social Innovation and Viability in Rural Areas)
Food security faces many multifaceted challenges, with effects ranging far beyond the sectors of agriculture and food science and involving all the multiscale components of sustainability. This paper puts forward our point of view about more sustainable and responsible approaches to food production research underlying the importance of knowledge and social innovation in agroecological practices. Increased demand for food worldwide and the diversification of food choices would suggest the adoption of highly productive, but low-resilient and unsustainable food production models. However, new perspectives are possible. These include the revitalization and valorization of family-based traditional agriculture and the promotion of diversified farming systems as a social and economic basis to foster social-ecological conversion. Additionally, they encompass the forecasting of the Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) and the drafting of a new agenda for food sovereignty. Thanks to a desk analysis, the study describes and discusses these perspectives, their trajectories and action research implications. The results suggest the need to adopt a more inclusive and systemic approach to the described problems, as the solutions require the promotion of responsibility within decision makers, professionals and consumers. This appears essential for reading, analyzing and understanding the complex ecological-functional, social and economic relations that characterize farming systems, as well as mobilizing local communities. View Full-Text
Keywords: agroecology; DFS; social innovation; PGS; education; traditional knowledge agroecology; DFS; social innovation; PGS; education; traditional knowledge
MDPI and ACS Style

Marchetti, L.; Cattivelli, V.; Cocozza, C.; Salbitano, F.; Marchetti, M. Beyond Sustainability in Food Systems: Perspectives from Agroecology and Social Innovation. Sustainability 2020, 12, 7524.

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