The connections and the synergies between social economy and sustainable food systems can be powerful drivers for change and growth in Europe. The Europe 2020 Strategy already highlighted that a resource-efficient Europe would call for an increase in resource efficiency, in order to: “…find new ways to reduce inputs, minimise waste, improve management of resource stocks, change consumption patterns, optimise production processes, management and business methods, and improve logistics.” Currently, EU policies are supporting these ideas, and European farmers and social entrepreneurs are putting many of them into practice.
Sustainable food systems refer to food production, distribution, and consumption practices that are environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and economically viable. Social enterprises play a critical role in contributing to sustainable food systems by addressing various challenges associated with food production, processing, distribution, and consumption. Young social farmers are often involved in sustainable food systems, including farming, gardening, and other food-related activities. Young social farmers are a critical component of sustainable food systems because they bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to the field. They are also passionate about environmental sustainability and social justice, which makes them natural advocates for sustainable food systems. Some ways in which social enterprises contribute to sustainable food systems are:
In these respects, social enterprises are important actors in the food system, as they work towards creating a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient food system for all.
DIESIS (2018): How social enterprises contribute to sustainable food systems in Europe (abstract): https://www.diesis.coop/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Brochure_Event_Food__REV.pdf
DIESIS (2018): How social enterprises contribute to sustainable food systems (full report): https://www.diesis.coop/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/FOOD-RESEARCH__.pdf