Special Issue "Food Sovereignty, Food Security, and Sustainable Food Production"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Catherine Keske
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, University of California-Merced, Merced, CA 95343, USA
Interests: agricultural and resource economics; food security and food sovereignty; biomass, bioenergy and biochar; land conservation and management; law and economics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue focuses on empirical research that contributes to the interdisciplinary study of food sovereignty, food security, and sustainable food production.

Producing food in an environmentally, economically, and socially acceptable manner to meet the increasing demands of a growing population is a grand challenge for agricultural production. Sustainable food production balances people, planet, and profit, though stakeholders often have different interpretations about acceptable trade-offs between the three dimensions.

Social and natural scientists often point to the World Food Summit’s 1996 definition of “food security” as a goal that is synchronous with achieving a sustainable food system. However, there are clear downsides associated with this definition that essentially advocates for increasing agricultural yield with fewer inputs and simply producing more food. In recent years, the food sovereignty movement has gained traction to address the gaps associated with a strict “food security” approach. Food sovereignty prioritizes equitable access to resources, diversified commodity production, fair labour practices, democratic deliberation between consumers and producers, and the basic right to food for all. To date, most food sovereignty work focuses on the political framework and social activism surrounding “the peasant movement”, so most publications have been theoretical. Empirical food sovereignty studies are only beginning to emerge.

In this Special Issue, the scope of contributions may include (but are not limited to) disciplines such as agronomy, soil and water science, environmental and ecological sciences, geography, anthropology, applied economics, sociology, and political science. Interdisciplinary studies and trans-disciplinary research are also welcome. Research methods may include a variety of qualitative, quantitative, or mixed methods research approaches, and authors should provide a detailed discussion of the research methodologies employed so as to appeal to an interdisciplinary audience. Perhaps most importantly, authors should convey to readers how their study results contribute to the food security and food sovereignty literature.

References:

Bacon, C.M., Ernesto Mendez, V., Gómez, M.E.F., Stuart, D. and Flores, S.R.D., 2008. Are sustainable coffee certifications enough to secure farmer livelihoods? The millennium development goals and Nicaragua's Fair Trade cooperatives. Globalizations, 5(2), pp.259-274.

Binimelis, R., Rivera-Ferre, M.G., Tendero, G., Badal, M., Heras, M., Gamboa, G. and Ortega, M., 2014. Adapting established instruments to build useful food sovereignty indicators. Development Studies Research. An Open Access Journal, 1(1), pp.324-339.

Shaw, D.J. 2007. “World Food Summit, 1996.” World Food Security, 347–60.

Wittman, H., A.A. Desmarais & N. Wiebe (eds). 2010. Food Sovereignty: Reconnecting Food, Nature and Community. Winnipeg: Halifax Publishing.

Wittman, H., Beckie, M. and Hergesheimer, C., 2012. Linking local food systems and the social economy? Future roles for farmers' markets in Alberta and British Columbia. Rural Sociology77(1), pp. 36-61.

Prof. Dr. Catherine Keske
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • food sovereignty
  • sustainable food systems

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Building Resilience: The Gendered Effect of Climate Change on Food Security and Sovereignty in Kakamega-Kenya
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3751; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073751 - 27 Mar 2021
Viewed by 502
Abstract
Climate change is a global threat, affecting the food security and food sovereignty of many depending on agriculture for their livelihoods. This is even more pronounced in Kenya, given their over-reliance on rain-fed crops and the frequency of floods and droughts in the [...] Read more.
Climate change is a global threat, affecting the food security and food sovereignty of many depending on agriculture for their livelihoods. This is even more pronounced in Kenya, given their over-reliance on rain-fed crops and the frequency of floods and droughts in the country. Through qualitative interviews, this study set out to establish how climate change not only affects the food security, production and consumption of rural women farmers in Kakamega County, Kenya, but their response to climate shocks. Using resilience theory as a lens, we established that women use different pathways to mitigate the effects of climate change on their livelihoods. The study found that initially women adopt coping strategies that are reactive and not sustainable, but soon adapted their farming strategies, using their indigenous knowledge to exercise some control over both their food security and food sovereignty. Besides this, they use their human and social capital to expand their networks of support. By linking up to other organizations and gaining access to government support, they are able to challenge patriarchal relations that perpetuate poverty and inequality and bring about more transformative and sustainable responses to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Sovereignty, Food Security, and Sustainable Food Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Rural Food and Wine Tourism in Canada’s South Okanagan Valley: Transformations for Food Sovereignty?
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1808; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041808 - 07 Feb 2021
Viewed by 797
Abstract
This interdisciplinary research analyses the relationships between food sovereignty principles and food and wine tourism in rural contexts by asking how rural tourism stakeholders understand these concepts, mobilize the interrelationships, and to what purpose. Wine and food tourism is one of the fastest-growing [...] Read more.
This interdisciplinary research analyses the relationships between food sovereignty principles and food and wine tourism in rural contexts by asking how rural tourism stakeholders understand these concepts, mobilize the interrelationships, and to what purpose. Wine and food tourism is one of the fastest-growing rural tourism niches, with effects on the orientation of food systems, the livelihoods of producers, the viability of rural communities, and the biophysical environment. Secondary research and semi-structured interviews provide insights into how qualities of food sovereignty transitions are conceptualized, recognized, developed, supported, and promoted in the case of British Columbia’s South Okanagan Valley. An appreciative approach was used because this research aims to understand rural food and wine tourism’s potential contribution to food sovereignty. Although the term ‘food sovereignty’ did not resonate for most participants, qualities of a transition towards food sovereignty such as reorienting agriculture, food processing and consumption to the local region, supporting rural economies and environmental sustainability were considered integral to rural food tourism. Participants saw future opportunities for rural food and wine tourism to serve broader transformative purposes that would benefit locals, visitors, and the environment. Research results could be used to inspire critical academic, community and policy dialogue about food sovereignty in wine and food tourism destinations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Sovereignty, Food Security, and Sustainable Food Production)
Open AccessArticle
Determining Food Security in Crisis Conditions: A Comparative Analysis of the Western Balkans and the EU
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 9924; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12239924 - 27 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 575
Abstract
The right to food is a fundamental one, and the optimization between human needs and available resources is a challenge in all countries. The main goal of this study is to find the factors that determine food security and to determine the level [...] Read more.
The right to food is a fundamental one, and the optimization between human needs and available resources is a challenge in all countries. The main goal of this study is to find the factors that determine food security and to determine the level of food security in the Western Balkans while undergoing the process of European Union (EU) integration. In order to achieve this, four Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) dimensions of food security are analyzed: stability, availability, access, and utilization. The Preference Ranking Organization Method for Enrichment Evaluations (PROMETHEE) method is then used to rank Western Balkan and EU countries according to food security. The results show a significant difference among these countries in terms of their levels of food security, which is a consequence of Western Balkan countries’ significant lag in economic development in comparison to the EU. Although the level of food security in Western Balkan countries is lower than in EU countries, it is not endangered. However, it can become endangered under crisis conditions (like the COVID-19 pandemic). The main reasons for this discrepancy are high food supply variability, dependence on cereal import, and lower Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in these countries than in EU. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Sovereignty, Food Security, and Sustainable Food Production)
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Open AccessArticle
Transitioning European Protein-Rich Food Consumption and Production towards More Sustainable Patterns—Strategies and Policy Suggestions
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1962; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051962 - 04 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
Global and European diets have shifted towards greater consumption of animal proteins. Recent studies urge reversals of these trends and call for a rapid transition towards adoption of more plant-based diets. This paper explored mechanisms to increase the production and consumption of plant-proteins [...] Read more.
Global and European diets have shifted towards greater consumption of animal proteins. Recent studies urge reversals of these trends and call for a rapid transition towards adoption of more plant-based diets. This paper explored mechanisms to increase the production and consumption of plant-proteins in Europe by 2030, using participatory backcasting. We identified pathways to the future (strategies), as well as interim milestones, barriers, opportunities and actions, with key European stakeholders in the agri-food chain. Results show that four strategies could be implemented to achieve the desired future: increased research and development, enriched consumer education and awareness, improved and connected supply and value chains and public policy supports. Actions needed to reach milestones were required immediately, reinforcing the need for urgent actions to tackle the protein challenge. This study concretely detailed how idealized dietary futures can be achieved in a real-world context. It can support EU protein transition by informing policy makers and the broader public on potential ways to move towards a more sustainable plant-based future. The outputs of this analysis have the potential to be combined with dietary scenarios to develop more temporally explicit models of future dietary changes and how to reach them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Sovereignty, Food Security, and Sustainable Food Production)
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Open AccessCommunication
“Everybody I Know Is Always Hungry…But Nobody Asks Why”: University Students, Food Insecurity and Mental Health
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1571; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061571 - 15 Mar 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2679
Abstract
Food insecurity is a substantial problem in Canadian university students. Multiple cross-sectional studies suggest that nearly a third of university students across Canada report food insecurity. Yet, little is understood about the experiences of food-insecure students and the impact of their experiences on [...] Read more.
Food insecurity is a substantial problem in Canadian university students. Multiple cross-sectional studies suggest that nearly a third of university students across Canada report food insecurity. Yet, little is understood about the experiences of food-insecure students and the impact of their experiences on their mental health. To address this, a multi-method study was conducted using quantitative and qualitative approaches to describe the prevalence, association and experience of food insecurity and mental health in undergraduate students. The current paper reports on the qualitative component, which described the lived experiences of food-insecure students, captured through face-to-face focus group interviews with participants (n = 6). The themes included (1) contributing factors to food insecurity; (2) consequences of food insecurity; and (3) students’ responses/attempts to cope with food insecurity. The findings illuminated student voices, added depth to quantitative results, and made the experience of food insecurity more visible at the undergraduate level. Additional research is needed to understand students’ diverse experiences across the university community and to inform programs to support students. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Sovereignty, Food Security, and Sustainable Food Production)
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