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Short statement on Defra ‘gene technology’ consultation

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is currently running an online consultation on the ‘regulation of genetic technologies’, due to close on March 17th. We stand with a number of environmental and farming groups who have criticised the consultation for its poor timing, biased framing and …

Hot off the press: New Book on Political, Transformation and Territorial dimension to bring forward an Agroecological Urbanism

Building on state-of-the-art and participatory research on farming, urbanism, food policy and advocacy, this new book changes the ways food planning has been conceptualised to date, and invites the reader to fully embrace the transformative potential of an agroecological perspective. It argues for moving away from a “food in the city” approach, …

Farming for Climate Justice: Invitation for participation of Early Career Researchers from UK and S. Africa

Farming for Climate Justice is a CAWR collaboration with the Bio-Economy Chair at the University of Cape Town that emphasises the co-generation of socially inclusive research capable of transforming thinking and research practice for just food and farming systems. Funded by the British Council (Researcher Links Climate Challenge), the project will …

Reflecting on ORFC 2021: Blinking into the Light – Galvanising Food Movements in Troubling Times

Few of us would say that we’re not happy to see the back of 2020. For one thing, it’s fundamentally changed how we live and work, often for the worse. We’ve all missed the creativity that emerges from human connection, and many of us are now bound to long hours …

Special Issue – Doing Participatory Action Research (PAR) in a time of COVID and Beyond

​Call for Contributors for a special issue in the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems on Doing Participatory Action Research (PAR) in a time of COVID. Click here for the latest information on the journal website. Co-Editors: AgroecologyNow and CAWR researchers George McAllister (correspondent – ad3054@coventry.ac.uk), Priscilla Claeys, Nina Moeller and …

Hot off the press: New Open Access Book on Transformations Towards More Just and Sustainable Food Systems

This new open access book develops a framework for advancing agroecology in transformations towards more just and sustainable food systems focusing on power, politics and governance. It explores the potential of agroecology as a sustainable and socially just alternative to today’s dominant food regime.  Agroecology Now! Transformations Towards More Just and …

Agroecology or Collapse Part III – Reclaiming the ‘archaic’, ‘anarchic’, and ‘utopian’ as the language of food system transformation

Agroecology is a struggle to overcome industrial agriculture and is simultaneously a practice, a science, and a movement. Detractors often criticize Agroecology saying it is archaic, anarchic, & utopian. Perhaps, paradoxically, this is where its potential lies.  Agroecology is archaic, anarchic, and utopian – of course it is and thank …

Seeking New Agreements for Working with Nature through Enhancing Agricultural Biodiversity

In this first article in our new column, Agroecology in Motion: Nourishing Transformation, Patrick Mulvany, (HRF, CAWR), makes a call to radically foreground a more robust and transformative understanding of agricultural biodiversity, especially the need to enhance the agricultural biodiversity embedded within all seeds, breeds and agroecosystems, making these more …

Announcing “Agroecology in Motion: Nourishing Transformation”

Articles written for Agroecology in Motion: Nourishing Transformation are written to stimulate reflection and learning, inform political-practical work on agroecology and move people to action. This first article in the column lays the groundwork for future contributions. To follow the column and other AgroecologyNow updates, Follow us on Facebook, Twitter …

Join in on a Range of Online Workshops with CAWR at the Oxford Real Farming Conference

This year the Oxford Real Farming Conference or ORFC is going online and global with a 7-day programme (7-13 Jan) of talks and workshops from across the world. The event  will give food and farming activists, including producers, researchers, policy-makers and NGOs the chance to come together as a movement …

Shifting European Finance towards Food Systems Tranformation: A Webinar

Biovision Foundation, CIDSE, IPES-Food, AgroecologyNow! at the Center for Agroecology Water and Resilience (CAWR) of Coventry University, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Coalition Contre la Faim, DanChurchAid, are presenting a webinar on  “Shifting European Finance towards Food System Transformation”. The event will take place on the 26th of November, from 2 …

Agroecology or Collapse Part II – Democratizing Food Systems and Breaking the Bonds of Food Empires

Thinking that the agroecology movement is limited to producing organics in a “differentiated niche” is a mistake. Its focus is to redirect agriculture according to logics that oppose and subvert the capitalist market. In Part II of this three-part series, Paulo Petersen and Denis Monteiro dig deeper into articulating capitalist …

Agroecology or Collapse: Part 1 – From Emergency Responses to Systemic Transformations

In this first of a three-part contribution to Agroecologynow, Paulo Petersen and Denis Monteiro present the current moment as a crisis in capitalism that demands systemic and structural responses based in solidarity and feminist economics. This lays the foundations for agroecology as a new organizing paradigm for food systems that …

No Time for Justice?! – Food Policy and Emergency Thinking in the Brexit Moment

Imagine a process in which food and farming policies were designed with social justice as the central tenet. What would such a process look like? Whose voices would be heard, and whose interests would be represented? What questions would need to be asked and how would we know that social …

Prioritising Agroecology and Challenging Corporate Technology-Led Approaches in the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit and Beyond

In December 2019, Ms. Agnes Kalibata, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), was appointed as the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy to the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.  Over the last two months, a range of actors[i] have voiced their concerns over this appointment, that has …

New Special Issue on Agroecology Transformations: Connecting the dots to enable agroecology transformations

This special issue on Agroecology Transformations, published today in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, includes six articles sharing new insights into the process and kinds of transformations needed to enable agroecology as a model for a more just and sustainable food system. Agroecology is coming into its own as an alternative …

New Backgrounder: Scaling Agroecology from the Bottom up: Six Domains of Transformation

How can we enable the scaling of agroecology from the Bottom up? What is needed for agroecology be advanced, amplified, scaled up and out? In each context, there are enabling and disabling conditions that shape the potential for agroecology to be scaled. This Food First Issue Brief identifies six ‘domains …

Lume: New publication on method of economic-ecological analysis to support Agroecology

In spite of the growing recognition of agroecology around the world, there is still a significant lack of adequate tools for the study of the economic basis of agroecosystems that are appropriate for the modes of production and livelihoods of family farmers and indigenous people. The Lume method for economic-ecological …

Building Resilience to Natural Disasters in populated African Mountain Ecosystems

As part of CAWR’s Stabilisation Agriculture Programme, I recently visited Chimanimani district in Zimbabwe to initiate comparative research on how conventional and agroecologically managed landscapes coped with the impacts of Cyclone Idai in March 2019. Idai deposited the total annual rainfall in the first twelve hours alone – yet sat …

New Policy Brief – Nourishing Life. Territories of Life and Food Sovereignty

“Local communities on all continents are being displaced and impoverished by the combined actions of top down, ‘people-out’ fortress conservation and the expansion of industrial agriculture. This silent violence can be reversed by strengthening self-determining indigenous and community conserved areas as well as local food sovereignty. This is all about …

Shifting from Industrial Agriculture to Diversified Agroecological Systems in China

This freshly published book (open access, free to download) offers a new perspective on how to shift from industrial agriculture to diversified Agroecological Systems in China and contributes to recent debates on agroecology transitions and transformation. In 2008, China experienced its most severe food safety scandal—the melamine tainted milk that sickened …

Agroecology and Organics in Sikkim – New Video and Upcoming Talks

When the government of Sikkim (Northeast Indian State) won the prize for “Best Policy to Scale Up Agroecology” in the world, my interest was piqued. I have long been grappling with questions about the role of government in Agroecology, food sovereignty and other forms of bottom-up alternative paradigms. The issue …

Scaling Agroecology – Some of The Latest Thinking in 6 Edited Collections!

There has been a lot of talk about the scaling of agroecology as a new paradigm for food and agriculture. There have been calls for scaling up, scaling out, massification, transitions, transformations and more. This new thinking on how to advance agroecology couldn’t be more relevant in the growing ecological …

Theories of Change: Understanding and Clarifying Action and Difference

The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) at Coventry University (in the UK) recently hosted a workshop to “collectively strengthen relationships, learning/analysis and collaboration for people who are involved in research and knowledge work that advances movements for agroecology and food sovereignty”. This blog post is part of series …

A Guide to Mapping for Food System Change – A New Publication

Many people and organisations interested in agroecology and food sovereignty are mapping. It is all the rage!  People are mapping farms, markets, crop varieties and livestock breeds, soil fertility and water management practices, policies and more. Mapping is being used as an important way to advance agroecology and food sovereignty. …

Farm Hack shows us everything that it is wrong with UK agricultural training and research

Farm Hack is a response to a need – not only for access to often fundamental agricultural knowledge, but also for a different way of organising, relating, and owning in UK farming systems. It is almost entirely in opposition to the agricultural research and educational mainstream, which is predicated on …

Re/Nuevas Alianzas: Trabajando hacia la colaboración entre agricultores y académicos para la soberanía alimentaria en América del Norte

El Centro de Agroecología, Agua y Resistencia de la Universidad de Coventry (Reino Unido) organizó recientemente un taller para “fortalecer colectivamente las relaciones, el aprendizaje/análisis y la colaboración de las personas que están involucradas en la investigación y el trabajo de conocimiento que promueve los movimientos por la agroecología y …

These Extraordinary Times: Indigenous Peoples and coalition building for agroecology and food sovereignty

Above: Members of a Euro-American motorcycle club work alongside citizens of the Athabascan Nation to launch a fish wheel in the Copper River, Alaska. By Carol Kalafatic The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) at Coventry University (in the UK) recently hosted a workshop to “collectively strengthen relationships, learning/analysis …

Re/New Alliances: Working towards farmer-scholar collaboration for food sovereignty in North America

Above: Street demonstration during the the IV National Assembly of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance in Bellingham, WA, October 2018 | Credit: David Meek by Jahi Chappell, Saulo Araujo & Ernesto Mendez The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) at Coventry University (UK) recently hosted a workshop to “collectively …

We’re Hiring – Associate Professor in Political Ecology and People’s Knowledge

The successful candidate will join a dynamic, transdisciplinary team engaged in research that contributes to the development of socially just and resilient food and water systems. The post holder will contribute to the collaborative  leadership of the Centre for Agroecology,Water and Resilience, with emphasis on advancing political ecology and people’s …

Collective and/or community rights to land, seeds and natural resources for agroecology in East Africa – Workshop

Secure access to and control over land, seeds and other natural resources is key to agroecology. If properly recognized and implemented, collective and/or community rights over these resources represent a powerful and viable alternative to private ownership. Community rights can contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources, and protect …

Agroecology film and publication now available in three languages (EN, ES, FR)

English (French and Spanish Available Below) A movement is growing. Traditional forms of agroecology has been practiced for millennia in diverse places around the world. Today, we are witnessing the mobilization of transnational social movements to build, defend and strengthen agroecology as the pathway towards a most just, sustainable and …

Strengthening FAO’s Commitment to Agroecology – New Booklet Hot off the Virtual Press

Agroecology represents an alternative paradigm for food and farming – one that puts people and planet at centre stage and emphasises the priorities of food producers and marginalized peoples around the world. International institutions can play an important role in advancing this paradigm, as this new booklet demonstrates. The publication …

Live-Streamed Seminar: Agroecology Transitions-Transformations for A more Just and Sustainable Food System

What is needed to make the transition transformation for more sustainable and just food systems? In this Seminar, the AgroecologyNow! group at CAWR will present a framework they have developed for understanding and enabling agroecology transitions-transformations. This material is being developed into a book that will be published in the …

Agroecology as a Pathway Towards Food Sovereignty in Ethiopian Forest Communities

The social and ecological environment in southwest Ethiopia is in flux. This is probably the case in most forest communities. Changes in society are also reconfiguring the environment. Little towns and hamlets are growing both in width and height. The width comes from the increasing number of homes constructed to …

The Dark Side of Innovation for Family Farmers: Reflections on an International Symposium on Innovation

This post explores rapid rise to prominence of the term ‘Innovation’ within agricultural development, and presents some reasons why it is an inadequate framework to address the deep injustices in contemporary food systems, especially as they relate to family farmers and other small scale food producers. In summary, this fits …

Bringing Agroecology into the UK Agriculture Bill

Agroecological approaches to agriculture improve rural livelihoods, regenerate ecologies and increase the resiliency of communities, while providing healthy and sustainable food. Policy support for agroecology in the UK has been piecemeal and many policies undermine the potential for developing agroecology in the UK. This agriculture bill marks an opportunity for …

The battle for the future of farming: what you need to know

Most concede that there is an urgent need to radically transform our food systems. But the proposed innovations for more sustainable food systems are drastically different. Which we choose will have long-lasting effects on human society and the planet. This article, written by Michel Pimbert and Colin Anderson was published …

Strengthening a Transformative Agroecology Learning approach in Europe: Four Pillars

Is there something distinctive about agroecology learning and training? How is learning a part of the struggle for food sovereignty, or other social movements for social justice and sustainability? What examples are there of this in Europe? And how can these projects be supported and developed? An open access (free …

Highlighting the importance of power and governance in the debate on “innovation” in agriculture: A contribution to the HLPE process

Agroecology when articulated as a transformative approach to food system, is the most promising “innovation” (and set of “innovations”) at play at the global level. Yet, the current dominant innovation systems, in a wider disabling economic and political context, are containing, undermining and suppressing agroecology by supporting deeply problematic approaches …

Agroecology as a Pathway towards Sustainable Food Systems (New Report)

This report looks at Agroecology as a Pathway to Sustainable Food Systems. Food systems are at a critical juncture and a dramatic transition to agroecology is urgently needed. Alarming rates of food insecurity and malnutrition persist, manifested as  undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies (“hidden hunger”) and “overnutrition” (overweight and obesity), alongside the growing crises of biodiversity loss and …

Rise of the ‘megafarms’: how UK agriculture is being sold off and consolidated

“If you were to visit the English countryside 15 years ago, you would have found nine times as many small farms as you do today – and twice as many different farms in general….” Elise Wach, a PhD student working on the Potentials for agroecology and food sovereignty in the Scottish …

Magic in a Movement: The Fight for a Just Food System in the USA (Personal Reflections)

The US Food Sovereignty Alliance met from October 12-15 to advance the USA food movement for a more democratic, sustainable and just food system. I accompanied over 150 other souls from different corners of the country who convened on Lummi and Nooksack land in Coast Salish Territory, in the city …

Call for Contributions: Agroecology Now! Transitions-Transformations for a More Just and Sustainable Food System

A Call for contributions to a session on agroecology transitions at the meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG) in Washington D.C. (April 3-7, 2019) https://annualmeeting.aag.org Abstract Submission Deadline for AAG: October 21, 2018. Agroecology is a radical alternative to the dominant approaches to food and water systems and …

A “Community Supported Journal”​ worth Supporting on Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development

The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development (JAFSCD) is a community supported journal, free to read (online) and has a range of articles that will be of interest to anyone interested in research, organizing and activism related to efforts to create a more sustainable and just food system. I believe this …

People, power, change: three pillars of a food sovereignty research praxis

Our group has published a new article on the practice of food sovereignty research, available open access from the Journal of Peasant Studies. Levkoe, C. Z., Brem-Wilson, J. & Anderson, C. R. 2018. People, power, change: three pillars of a food sovereignty research praxis. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 1-24. The …

Absent Agroecology Aid: On UK Agricultural Development Assistance Since 2010

This new CAWR publication analyses CAWR figures published by the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and finds that despite overwhelming evidence in favour of agroecology as a mode of agricultural development able to address crucial aspects of the interrelated crises facing human societies, UK development aid barely supports agroecology. Based …

DARE Statement: Democratizing Agricultural Research in Europe

Feeding local communities without destroying the planet is one of this century’s most intractable global challenges. While sometimes generating short-term increases in production, industrial approaches to food and agriculture are now understood to cause rising levels of ecological degradation, climate change, inequality, declining livelihoods on farms, growing food and nutrition …