Terry Marsden of the Sustainable Places Research Institute and School of City and Regional Planning, University of Cardiff, Wales spoke at the Sustainable Local Food Systems in Europe and the Americas: Lessons for Policy and Practice conference in Ottawa on March 3. He highlighted the issues facing society; peak oil, water shortages, competition for land, loss of biodiversity, loss of topsoil, green house gases and the huge waste of food. He calls for a transition into an ecologically based economy, with water and waste minimization, and low carbon use.
Prof. Marsden describes the current agricultural system as being in crisis with the introduction of genetically modified organisms, and a growing divide between urban and rural. He calls for a transition or re-grounding to a new, more locally based system.
Much of what he said in Ottawa is in this paper Food System Futures: system transformations and constructed marginalities.
Top photo: Harvest Hastings board member, Jenny Cook of Knuckle Down Farm, along with Stone Soup coordinator Michele Vindum of Plainfield Heritage