chapter  1
16 Pages

Sustainable food system assessment

Lessons from global practice
WithAlison Blay-Palmer, Damien Conaré, Ken Meter, Amanda Di Battista

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In the last 20 years scores of projects have set out to better understand and measure dimensions of food system sustainability, as well as to review the assessment process itself, including the needs of stakeholders, their questions and areas of interest, and whether sufficient resources are available to conduct the research. Given the wide range in contexts, these sustainable food system assessment projects have multiple aims including to: support policy, increase resilience, better understand the state of food systems and provide benchmarks as the basis for future analysis, provide an evidence base for action, and/or bring about sustainable transformation. While conceptual framings, goals, methods, and outcomes vary between approaches, it is possible to tease out common processes. Our book documents and interrogates these processes from multiple scales and food system dimensions, including the development, application, and interpretation of a range of assessment tools.