Confusion and Misunderstanding — Interpretations and Definitions of Local Food

Authors: Madeleine Granvik, Sofie Joosse, Alan Hunt and Ingela Hallberg

Open accessType of publication: Article peer review

Developing a more resilient food system based on sustainable food production and consumption is of major concern in creating food security. One issue in this complex field concerns the scale of the food system. Trends and tendencies show that the interest for local food has increased the last decade in Sweden, as well as in other parts of the world. Although the concept “local food” is commonly used, research shows that there is no single definition of it, instead definitions and meanings vary widely. This has led to a need by consumers of clearer information when buying “local food”. Several main actors in the Swedish food sector have joined forces to meet this issue. This paper contributes to knowledge on definitions, interpretations, and practice on local food by presenting views and opinions among different actors in the food chain in a Swedish context, but also in the light of an international pilot study. Main findings concern how the meaning of “local food” related to production, processing, raw material, and distance differs among stakeholders in the food chain. A majority stated that the basic meaning of “local food” concerns both the production and consumption within a certain geographical area.

Reference to article: Granvik, M.; Joosse, S.; Hunt, A.; Hallberg, I. Confusion and Misunderstanding—Interpretations and Definitions of Local Food. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1981.

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