The winding paths to Food Democracy

What exactly food democracy is and how Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands picture it for the future. This is what Stephen Leitheiser RECOMS fellow was set to find out during the Food Policy Councils in Frankfurt.

Stephen Leitheiser, RECOMS fellow recently attended the second annual Vernetzungskongress der Ernährungsräte (Congress for German-speaking Food Policy Councils) which took place in Frankfurt from 23-25 November 2018. Here representatives from 28 Food Policy Councils (FPCs) from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands met to map out a future towards Food Democracy. In learning of their experiences he learned that there are many paths toward the horizon of Food Democracy - and they are all winding.  

What exactly is Food Democracy?

The discourse of Food Democracy foregrounds eaters and farmers as citizens rather than consumers and producers. As such, calls for Food Democracy represent an attempt for citizens to regain control and demand accountability and legitimacy for the policies and governance configurations that influence the production, distribution and consumption of food. These demands generally aim for a shift away from industrial, financialized and conventional production and towards a (re)localization of food production, along with a people-centered prioritization of sustainable (or agroecological) practices and socially just distribution, accessibility and working conditions along the supply chain. As citizens seek to transform the food system towards a sustainable and just future and make their communities more resilient and resourceful, it is in Stephen's interest as a RECOMS fellow to co-produce knowledge that enables their empowerment.

Read more about Stephen's journey into food democracy on his blog here