Building Sustainable Communities Through Food Hubs

Practitioner and Academic Perspectives

  • Charles Z. Levkoe Lakehead University
  • Colleen Hammelman University of North Carolina Charlotte
  • Luke Craven The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra
  • Gavin Dandy Everdale; The SEED Community Food Hub; University of Guelph; Fleming College
  • Jeff Farbman Wallace Center at Winrock International
  • James Harrison The Food Project
  • Phil Mount Wilfrid Laurier University
Keywords: Academic; Food Hub; Food Movements; Food Systems; Practitioner; Social Justice; Sustainability

Abstract

In this paper, we explore the current state of the food hub by discussing innovative practices supporting efforts to build healthy, equitable, and sustainable food systems. We present key insights from a roundtable discussion among scholars and practitioners from Australia, Canada, and the United States held during the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers. Our discussion presents a food hub continuum that describes different pathways to effect change, from enhancing food supply chains to challenging the negative outcomes of the dominant food system through a social and ecological justice approach. This perspective problematizes typical descriptions of food hubs by recognizing the different goals and objectives as well as the resulting opportunities, challenges, and innovations. While we do not sug­gest one end of the continuum is more important than the other, we identify a series of productive tensions that emerge. Our discussion is structured around four central themes from the collaborative conversation: (1) Descriptions of food hubs; (2) Differing objectives; (3) Navigating success; and, (4) Encountering barriers. We conclude with suggestions on ways to bolster the work of foods hubs through research, policy change, and greater collaboration. This contribution is significant for bridging the overlapping yet diverging conversation between scholarship and practice to better inform food hub development.

Author Biographies

Charles Z. Levkoe, Lakehead University

Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Food Systems, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Sciences, Lakehead University

Colleen Hammelman, University of North Carolina Charlotte

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of North Carolina Charlotte

Luke Craven, The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra

Public Service Research Group, School of Business, The University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra

Gavin Dandy, Everdale; The SEED Community Food Hub; University of Guelph; Fleming College

Executive Director, Everdale; Directing Coordinator, The SEED Community Food Hub, Guelph Community Health Centre; Lecturer, University of Guelph; and Fleming College

Jeff Farbman, Wallace Center at Winrock International

Senior Program Associate, Wallace Center at Winrock International

James Harrison, The Food Project

Executive Director, The Food Project

Phil Mount, Wilfrid Laurier University

Associate Researcher at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, Wilfrid Laurier University

Published
2018-06-01
How to Cite
Levkoe, C., Hammelman, C., Craven, L., Dandy, G., Farbman, J., Harrison, J., & Mount, P. (2018). Building Sustainable Communities Through Food Hubs. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 8(2), 107-122. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2018.082.008