Emma Burnett Project

Researching resilience in local agri-food systems

Oxford, United Kingdom

There is growing consensus among academics and more far-sighted institutions that reliance on globally-networked conventional agrifood systems leaves us vulnerable to political upheavals, natural disasters and economic shocks. This consensus has led to a shift in developing alternative food production and distribution systems. These alternative systems often focus on one or more of the following: being localised, small scale, ecologically and/ or economically regenerative. Increasingly, research and practical activity has a focus on improving the resilience of communities involved in developing and delivering small scale agroecological food systems.

This project will work with organisations to investigate, develop and contribute to pathways and strategies that improve long-term resilience and reduce vulnerability within local agri-food systems, and can be utilised by food organisations, funding bodies and local government. sankalpa will support the project over a number of years to allow a deeper investigation into how self-organisation, cooperation and competition work in local food systems, and how these can be harnessed to better develop small-scale, socially just and resilient food systems.

sankalpa is keen to see food-centred academic research translated into practical outputs for on-the-ground practitioners. Academics are keen to do the same, but often get lost in the woods. This partnership is the perfect way to bring my theoretical work into practical use. The people who work with sankalpa are extremely positive, helpful and hopeful for the future, which is a nice change. It’s so easy to sink into despair — sankalpa makes you feel positive about the work you do and its potential for the future!

Emma Burnett, Cofounder Good Food Oxford

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