Global Food Security (GFS) Boundaries Report: Exploring Boundaries in Food Systems Research Implications for Projects on UK Food Security
Boundary reflection can help researchers anticipate possible unwanted economic, social or environmental side-effects of their recommendations for change. While it can never be comprehensive, this reflection can help researchers do better than just take a single boundary for granted.
The Global Food Security (GFS) Boundaries Project represents the first systematic attempt to apply critical systems thinking and practice to a food systems research programme (ie consisting of more than one single food system project). This report, Exploring Boundaries in Food Systems Research Implications for Projects on UK Food Security, describes the results of the project, which focused on the 13 projects in the Resilience of the UK Food System in a Global Context programme. The aim was to conduct reflection on boundary judgements within and across the 13 projects in order to support the systemic practice in those projects; situate them in relation to one another; and provide a means to make sense of the various conclusions and recommendations for action generated through the programme.
Each of the 13 projects takes a distinct lens on the resilience of the UK food system. Though there are overlapping elements, each has distinct purposes, operates with different scopes, scales and resolutions, and each makes different boundary judgements. There are synergies and tensions between the recommendations for action coming out of some of the projects. Seemingly contradictory results from the different projects actually highlight where tensions exist across sectors, scales and levels within the broader system. Once they are identified, these tensions can be consciously managed. It turns out that applying multiple, contrasting lenses to ‘the UK food system’ provides valuable insights, precisely concerning where tensions and synergies exist.
Download the GFS FSR Boundaries Report Exploring Boundaries in Food Systems Research (PDF)
Policy Brief: Exploring the resilience of the UK food system in a global context
Exploring the resilience of the UK food system in a global context highlights the complexity of the UK food system, a sector that contributes approximately £111 billion annually to the UK economy. It considers the notion of resilience from a number of angles and outlines different pathways towards food system resilience.
The report also highlights the 13 projects, which all aim to help policymakers and practitioners optimise the resilience of the UK’s food system to environmental, biological, economic, social and geopolitical shocks.
Download the GFS-FSR Insight Paper Exploring the Resilience of the UK Food System in a Global Context (PDF)
Each of the 13 projects publishes scientific papers that contribute to the understanding of food system resilience. Click on the links to the websites of the individual projects to learn more.