Grassroots social innovations and food localisation: An investigation of the Local Food programme in England

Kirwan, James ORCID: 0000-0002-4626-9940, Ilbery, Brian W, Maye, Damian ORCID: 0000-0002-4459-6630 and Carey, Joy (2013) Grassroots social innovations and food localisation: An investigation of the Local Food programme in England. Global Environmental Change, 23 (5). pp. 830-837. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2012.12.004

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This paper seeks to orientate research on local food networks more firmly towards ideas of grassroots and social niche innovations. Drawing on recent conceptual ideas from strategic niche management, this paper provides an exploratory analysis of attempts to spread grassroots social innovations through the Big Lottery Local Food programme run by the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts in England. This pound 59.8 million programme aims to distribute grants to a variety of food-related projects and to make locally grown food more accessible and affordable to local communities. Insights into 29 funded projects, of varying length and scale of operation, are provided through over 150 telephone and personal interviews. While the Local Food programme is undoubtedly about bringing small, often neglected pieces of land into production and increasing access to affordable food, results show that the programme is also very much seen as a vehicle for building community capacity through facilitating community cohesion, healthy eating, educational enhancement and integrating disadvantaged groups into mainstream society and economy. The paper concludes with some reflections on the extent to which the concept of grassroots social innovations, as a form of niche innovation, can help understand the ability of local food networks to develop the capacity of communities to respond to locally identified problems and to effect more widespread, sustainable change

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 Submission. Social and grassroots innovations, Strategic niche management, Local food networks, Community, Capacity building, Social inclusion
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Debi Jones-Davis
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2014 13:23
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 21:27

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