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Defining Sustainable Community Food Systems

by Zixin Lu last modified Apr 08, 2015 11:35 AM

A sustainable community food system is a collaborative network that integrates sustainable food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste management in order to enhance the environmental, economic and social health of a particular place. Farmers, consumers and communities partner to create a more locally based, self-reliant food economy. One of the most important aspects of sustainable community food system projects is that they increase resident participation to achieve the following goals:

  • A stable base of family farms that use sustainable production practices and emphasizes local inputs;
  • Marketing and processing practices that create more direct links between farmers and consumers;
  • Improved access by all community members to an adequate, affordable, nutritious diet;
  • Food and agriculture-related businesses that create jobs and recirculate financial capital within the community;
  • Improved living and working conditions for farm and food system labor;
  • Creation of food and agriculture policies that promote local or sustainable food production, processing and consumption, and
  • Adoption of dietary behaviors that reflect concern about individual, environmental and community health.

Click here for our Community Food Systems Bibliography and resources page.

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