C.H. Nelson, M.L. Stroink


There has been an explosion of interest globally in food security and sovereignty with the increasing awareness of the limitations and negative consequences of the agri-industrial food system on human health, physical environment and social equity and in the escalation of anthropogenic climate change. Within this context, this paper focuses on how social and solidarity enterprises based on local food systems are addressing environmental, social and economic issues. These enterprises are meeting the need for food security and food sovereignty.

This emergent social economy in the food sector is contextual and place-based and has the potential to be more resilient by building on long-established traditional practices and the protection of food crop seeds that carry the genetic diversity so critical to adaptation to unforeseen future global circumstances. These challenges to the dominant food system and its economic underpinnings present numerous opportunities to grow and expand the social and solidarity economy and enhance community food sovereignty and security throughout the world. The paper concludes by proposing a series of questions as a catalyst for state-civil society dialogue to develop public policies for the social and solidarity economy.


Food sovereignty; food security; social economy

Full Text:



See full text for references.

Universitas Forum is produced by the Universitas Programme of the KIP International School (Knowledge, Innovations, Policies and Territorial Practices for the UN Millennium Platform).

Site Manager: Archimede Informatica - Società Cooperativa