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Community-Led Initiatives and SDG2: Zero Hunger

Many community-led initiatives are active in sustainable food production. Community food initiatives are often guided by principles such as food security, food sovereignty and agroecology. Many emphasise enviromental sustainability and regeneration, local provenance, and support and reinvigoration of local and regional agricultural, culinary and/or economic traditions. Often linked to economic relocalisation, such activities both directly strengthen resilience in local food systems, help avoid exploitative relationships between importers and exporters of food (where provision of food supply in one place is at the expense of food security and availability elsewhere) and in most circumstances reduces levels of pollution and energy consumption associated with transportation, processing, packaging and preservation of food.

Specific approaches employed include:

  • Changing perceptions of food by promoting and holistic perspective that sees food not as a commodity, but as an enabler of life, basic right, constituent of social relationships and cultural identities and public good, as well as integrating principle for numerous SDGs, and of regenerative societies.[1][2][3]
  • Use of design principles based on observation of nature and the intersecting permaculture ethics of 'Earth Care', 'People Care' and 'Fair Shares' in the creation of food production initiatives rooted in local ecological, social, cultural and economic processes, and often regenerative of each or all of these.[4]
  • Foster an integral education system that enables individuals to identify edible wild species as well as cultivate local varieties that are more adapted to local conditions and can be more nutritive. [5] Promote popular education movements with an emphasis on learning through doing, through which large numbers of people (including migrants and vulnerable people) learn and apply the skills necessary to grow their own food and regenerate degraded land.[6]
  • Linking producers and consumers of food through mechanisms such as solidarity purchasing, community-supported agriculture, farmers' markets and others.[3][7]
  • Creating edible and biodiverse landscapes, particularly in urban areas through various forms of community gardening.[8][9][10]


  1. Jose Luis ViVero Po, L., 2017. How do people value food? Systematic, heuristic and normative approaches to narratives of transition in food systems. Faculté des bioingénieurs, Université catholique de Louvain.
  2. Ilieva, R.T., 2017. Urban Food Systems Strategies: A Promising Tool for Implementing the SDGs in Practice. Sustainability 9(10): 1707.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Dedeurwaerdere, T., De Schutter, O., Hudon, M., Mathijs, E., Annaert, B., Avermaete, T., Bleeckx, T., de Callataÿ, C., De Snijder, P., Fernández-Wolff, P., Joachim, H., Vivero, J.-L., 2017. The governance features of social enterprise and social network activities of collective food buying groups. Université catholique de Louvain, KULeuven, Université Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Wartman, P., Van Acker, R., Martin, R., 2018. Temperate Agroforestry: How Forest Garden Systems Combined with People-Based Ethics Can Transform Culture. Sustainability 10: 2246.
  5. Ulm, F., Avelar, D., Hobson, P., Penha-Lopes, G., Dias, T., Máguas, C., Cruz, C., 2019. Sustainable urban agriculture using compost and an open-pollinated maize variety. J. Clean. Prod. 212, 622–629.
  6. Al Shamsi, K.B., Compagnoni, A., Timpanaro, G., Cosentino, S., Guarnaccia, P., 2018. A Sustainable Organic Production Model for “Food Sovereignty” in the United Arab Emirates and Sicily-Italy. Sustainability 10: 620.
  7. Volz, P., Weckenbrock, P., Cressot, N., Parot, J., 2016. Overview of Community Supported Agriculture in Europe. European CSA Research Group.
  8. Hebinck, A. and Villarreal G. (2016) "Local" level analysis of FNS pathways the Netherlands. Exploring two case studies: Urban Food Initiatives and Food Bank practices. TRANSMANGO: EU KBBE.2013.2.5- 01 Grant agreement no: 613532
  9. Fernández Casadevante Kois, José Luis, Nerea Morán and Nuria del Viso, 2018. Madrid's Community Gardens. Where neighbourhood counter-powers put down roots. In Buxton, N. & D. Eade (eds.) State of Power. 2018 edition. Amsterdam: Transnational Institute. Pp. 131-148.
  10. Morley, A., Farrier, A, Dooris, M. (2017). Propagating Success? The Incredible Edible Model.Final Report.