Nascent | Transforming Local Food Systems

Institution: Universität Siegen

About the lab

The nascent project addresses the negative socio-ecological consequences of the industrialised food system and examines the potential and limits of transformative organisations.

Research interest:
What are the potentials and limits towards transforming regional food systems towards sustainability and resilience?

Featured projects (2)

Special Issue in Sustainability: “A Systemic Perspective on Urban Food Supply: Assessing Different Types of Urban Agriculture” guest edited by Martina Artmann, Kathrin Specht, Jan Vávra, Marius Rommel The aim of this Special Issue is to improve the understanding of different forms of urban agriculture, its impacts, and framework conditions for implementation. The reception of contributions will be open until 31 May 2020. More information on our new Special Issue you find here: Looking forward to your papers! Best regards, Martina, Jan, Kathrin & Marius
This project focuses on the potentials for transformation towards a sustainable food production by taking into consideration the following questions when analyzing initiatives: How can these transformative economic systems initiate innovation instead of remaining a niche player? How can we evaluate their contribution as pioneers of transformation? Do these initiatives have the potential to change the established food system bottom-up? Um eine zukunftsfähige Ernährungswirtschaft zu entwickeln, die Nahrungsmittelsicherheit, Ernährungssouveränität und resiliente Produktionsweisen auch regional gewährleistet, gelangen verstärkt nahräumliche Initiativen der Lebensmittelproduktion ins Blickfeld. Transformative Initiativen positionieren sich jenseits überkommener Spannungsfelder von Produktion und Konsumtion, Stadt und Land, wirtschaftlichem und ökologischem Erfolg. Exogene Störungen können durch sie vermindert und eine kreative Anpassung an sich verändernde Rahmenbedingungen ermöglicht werden. Das Projekt untersucht die Transformationspotenziale der Initiativen für eine nachhaltige Ernährungsversorgung unter Berücksichtigung folgender Fragestellungen: Wie können transformative Wirtschaftsformen, statt in der Nische zu verharren, Innovationsprozesse in Gang setzen? Wie ist ihr Beitrag als Transformationspioniere einzuschätzen? Können diese Initiativen bottom-up das etablierte Ernährungssystem verändern?

Featured research (31)

Alternative food networks (AFNs), and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in particular, are an example of sustainable farming practices. This paper focuses on regional cooperation and its consequences for food security by evaluating data from German field studies. Currently, the market share of CSA in Germany is marginal in absolute terms. However, there is great potential for increase as there is at least one CSA farm in almost every German region. The objective of this study is to assess the potential of CSA diffusion through regional cooperation and its impacts on the food sovereignty of a region. After elucidating the importance of food sovereignty as an indicator of food security and introducing the concept of CSA, we present an analytical framework for regional cooperation in CSA. Here we analyse (1) “Who cooperates?”, (2) “Why does cooperation occur?” and (3) “How does cooperation take place?”. Our special focus is on the phenomenon of community supported cooperation (CSC) as the most collaborative form of cooperation found within the CSA environment. Adopting a transdisciplinary approach, we consider the impacts of CSC on food production as well as on the overall resilience of a region using both theoretical tools and empirical sources. Finally, the differences and similarities as well as the replicability of regional cooperation in Germany are viewed in a global context by linking it to the numerous CSA projects worldwide.
The objective of this study is to investigate in which way CSA provides an answer to the disruptions of industrialized and globalized agriculture and how its specific transformation potentials towards agroecology, solidarity and community can contribute to multi-level resilience in the food sector and beyond. The study aims to (1) theoretically outline the approach of resilience for decentralized transformation scenarios and (2) analyze the resilience-specific benefits and risks of CSA by developing an analytical framework addressing the systemic, organizational and personal level. In our study we use a transdisciplinary research design based on quantitative and qualitative surveys.

Lab head

Niko Paech
  • Plural Economics

Members (4)

Irene Antoni-Komar
  • Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Marius Rommel
  • Universität Siegen
Moritz Wittkamp
  • Universität Siegen

Alumni (1)

Carsten Sperling
Carsten Sperling