Center for Fair & Alternative Trade

Colorado State University

Food Justice: Production to Consumption

As a goal, food justice strives to eliminate exploitation and oppression and challenge the structural drivers of all forms of inequality within and beyond the food system. As a practice, food justice advocates for the right to healthy food that is justly and sustainably produced, recognizes diverse cultural foodways and histories, and promotes democratic participation and equitable distribution of resources in the food system. This focus on social justice broadens the predominant emphasis on environmental sustainability within most local and regional food movements in the Global North. An equity framework also links food sovereignty and food security goals via grassroots control over local food systems and the distribution of adequate food for all.

Given these wide-ranging commitments, tensions inevitably emerge. Yet because food justice draws on movements for economic, gender, racial, and environmental equity, opportunities abound to build innovative cross-movement ties that can address the root causes of problems in the food system.

Our research investigates and compares the inequalities people experience within local and regional food supply chains, and the challenges of bringing about structural change and reform. We explore the social, geographic, and institutional factors that contribute to creative articulations of food justice in the food system. We also examine how the food movement integrates food justice in its campaigns, initiatives, and mobilization in order to understand the degree to which such efforts actualize more socially just communities and food systems.

CFAT Personnel: Joshua Sbicca, Laura Raynolds, Douglas Murray, John Lindenbaum, Christine Porter, Michael Carolan

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