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Challenges of maintaining and diffusing grassroots innovations in alternative food networks : A systems thinking approach

Title data

Kump, Barbara ; Fikar, Christian:
Challenges of maintaining and diffusing grassroots innovations in alternative food networks : A systems thinking approach.
In: Journal of Cleaner Production. Vol. 317 (2021) . - No. 128407.
ISSN 0959-6526
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.128407

Abstract in another language

Sustainability transitions of food systems are at the core of several of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In many regions, grassroots initiatives (i.e., community-led bottom-up initiatives) have emerged to experiment with alternative food networks and change the dominant food regimes. While grassroots initiatives can play a crucial role in sustainability transitions, it is known that actors usually face challenges related to (1) building and maintaining an initiative, and (2) diffusing it to the mainstream. However, the systemic mechanisms underlying these two types of challenges in food systems are still underspecified. Building on previous empirical research, the paper uses systems thinking (qualitative causal loop diagrams) to detail (1) the systemic mechanisms underlying the emergence and maintenance of an alternative food network; and (2) the feedback loops related to organizational and logistics issues that pose limits to scaling. It explains the paradox of diffusion in alternative food networks and concludes that diffusion of alternative food networks to mainstream may be achieved through replication and translation strategies, rather than scaling-up.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Grassroots innovation; Alternative food network; Food cooperative; Multi-level perspective; Causal loop diagram; Sustainability transition; Systems thinking
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition and Health > Chair Food Supply Chain Management
Faculties > Faculty of Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition and Health > Chair Food Supply Chain Management > Chair Food Supply Chain Management - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christian Fikar
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 330 Economics
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2021 08:43
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2021 08:43
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/66693