Boundaries of Food Systems

Analyzes of the functioning and outcomes of food systems can differ greatly in terms of scale, geographical area, food system activities and objective. This projects delivers a paper that examines what systems thinking is, what determines the scope of a food systems approach, and the implications of choices made in research projects regarding the scale and boundaries of the system to be studied.

Thinking consciously about limits of the food system - which people are involved, which are not; which (private and public) concerns and objectives are addressed, which are not - helps researchers to anticipate potentially undesirable economic, social and environmental recommendations for change. The limits, or ‘boundaries’ of a Food System or that of a specific Food System related project was one of the three topics that were selected to be discussed in the ‘exchange sessions’  on Food Systems. Those session were held in June 2021. Following the particular session on ‘boundaries’ it was decided to collect the topical insights in a paper.