در اهمیت محکم کردن حلقه های بازخورد برای توسعه پایدار سیستم های مواد غذایی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|29124||2005||16 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6776 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Food Policy, Volume 30, Issue 2, April 2005, Pages 224–239
In the process of searching for sustainable trajectories in the food system, this paper reviews and discusses the importance of tightening feedback loops between ecosystems, actors in the food production chain and consumers. Intensification, specialization, distancing, concentration and homogenization are trends identified as major constraints for tightened feedback loops. These trends can mask or make it possible to disregard feedback signals from unhealthy ecosystems and weaken communication in the food chain. We explore possibilities for improved feedback management on local to global scales and present examples where feedback loops have been tightened. Enhanced communication between the actors in the food system and consciousness of ecological feedback, through e.g., increased reliance on local resources, are possibilities for improvement. However, where distances between resource and resource user are too large, feedback has to be directed through institutions on an overarching level, e.g., policy measures or environmental and social labelling of products.
All actors in the food chain can potentially play an important role in making the food system more sustainable from an environmental point of view. However, relating concerns about the quality of food and environmental risks to consumer choices or food production methods has become exceedingly difficult. Signals of unhealthy local ecosystems or production systems are in danger of being filtered out or masked as a result of the globalization of the food market. Information on environmental impacts caused by different components of the food production chain is unlikely to reach consumers, nor is feedback from consumers to producers. This is because the two have become separated both in time and space, a process enabled through for example new agricultural and transport technologies and intense trade flows of food products between distant regions. In other words, feedback loops are loose and as environmental problems broaden in scale there is a need to establish or strengthen institutions (norms and rules of society, c.f. North (1990)) for managing feedback information between the various parts of the system (Levin, 1999). In this paper we review and discuss the importance of finding ways of tightening feedback loops between ecosystems, primary production and society in the process of creating a sustainable food system. By food system we mean the whole food production sector in the economy (including farms, processing and marketing of foodstuff), as well as the consumption of food. The concept of sustainable development we base on the definition by Berkes and Folke (1998) that “sustainability implies not challenging ecological thresholds on temporal and spatial scales that will negatively affect ecological systems and social systems” combined with the objective to provide all global citizens with an adequate and sufficient diet – now and in the future. Our focus is mainly on production and consumption in Western industrial societies and their dependence on food production in other parts of the world. We give an account of some trends in the modern food system with related feedback and current examples, mainly Swedish, on different scales where feedback loops can be tightened.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Through intensification, specialization, distancing and concentration/homogenization, apprehension of and reaction to different feedback have become increasingly difficult. Feedback in ecosystems and society related to food production and consumption can be either disregarded due to current practice, or masked due to scale mismatches or the nature of ecosystems. We argue that a more locally based food system with tighter links between producers and consumers can improve feedback management and thus make the system more sustainable. Living closer to or having closer contact with food production makes it possible for the consumer to influence and have better control over how the food they eat is produced. However, this is only possible for a minority of people because most urban dwellers have neither access to agricultural land nor the opportunity to buy their food directly from primary producers. For the majority of citizens living in densely populated urban areas, decisions relating to food quality and effects on the environment need to be taken on another societal level in order to develop sustainable food systems. Where feedback loops are loose and distances are large, feedback needs to be directed through institutions on an overarching level regarding both the state of the environment, producer and consumer interests. Labelling of food items according to environmental or social standards that are controlled by independent bodies and trusted by consumers is one possible way to deal with the fact that there are large distances in the modern food system. When consumers and producers cannot have direct contact with each other, labels act as information and trust carriers, and normally also give primary producers better prices. In order to properly understand and effectively act directly upon feedback from the food system, organizations and institutions in management positions need to be at the same temporal and spatial scale as the feedback signals. In the current food system this would imply a downscaling of structures in order to manage feedback from local ecosystems and societies, as well as the development of institutions linking together the local and regional with the global for feedback management. Whether perceived environmental feedback is acted upon or not partly depends on the existence of local knowledge and understanding on how to respond to these signals, but also involves social psychology and studies of human organization. The global food system is dynamic, constantly evolving and within the pockets of change that are created through the dynamic process lie opportunities for innovations or alternative solutions. Tightening feedback loops is one of several strategic measures that have to be taken to change the current food system in a sustainable direction.