Bridging Gaps: A Framework for Developing Regional Food Systems

Authors

  • Daryl Nelligan Algoma University
  • Nairne Cameron Algoma University
  • Brandon Lee Mackinnon Algoma University
  • Carter Vance Algoma University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2016.071.007

Keywords:

Alternative Supply Chain, Competitive Advantage Theory, Conventional Supply Chain, Downtown, Framework, Food Delivery, Food Retail, Local Food, Regional Food System, Regional Economy, Porter’s Value Chain

Abstract

Local food research has been generally focused on strengthening the alternative food system by scaling up local agriculture, rather than advancing strategies to bridge gaps between local farmers and conventional food retail businesses. Competitive advantage theory forms the foundation of a frame­work based on Porter’s (1985) firm (business unit) value chain for investigating food system gaps, and a logic model for promoting development by adding value throughout the alternative food supply chain. In the present study, a survey created jointly by local stakeholders investigated factors that food retail businesses consider when sourcing local food. Among the top rated factors, support­ing the local economy (opportunity) and regular delivery (barrier) were seen as significant to the regional food system of the Algoma District in central Canada. Mapping these factors through the firm value chain framework revealed a high degree of interconnectedness to other factors in the survey, including importance of obtaining fresh food, consistency of supply throughout the year, and reducing overall costs of supplying affordable products. Analysis of the survey results from the perspective of a food retail business pointed to information technology and coordinated distribu­tion methods as playing important roles in adding value to the regional food system. In addition to these results, the downtown of the study site has emerged as an aggregation point for local food, and local food may be playing a role in revitalizing the downtown. The value chain framework analysis can be applied to other localities to bridge gaps between local farmers and conventional supply chain actors.

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Author Biographies

Daryl Nelligan, Algoma University

Algoma University; 1520 Queen Street East; Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A 2G4.

Nairne Cameron, Algoma University

Department of Geography and Geology, Algoma University; 1520 Queen Street East; Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A 2G.

Brandon Lee Mackinnon, Algoma University

Algoma University; 1520 Queen Street East; Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A 2G.

Carter Vance, Algoma University

Algoma University; 1520 Queen Street East; Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A 2G4.

Carter Vance is now at Carleton University; 1125 Colonel By Drive; Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 5B6.

Published

2016-12-05

How to Cite

Nelligan, D., Cameron, N., Mackinnon, B. L., & Vance, C. (2016). Bridging Gaps: A Framework for Developing Regional Food Systems. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 7(1), 49–69. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2016.071.007

Issue

Section

Open Call Papers

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