Dismantling and rebuilding the food system after COVID-19

Ten principles for redistribution and regeneration

Keywords: Corporate Food Regime, Food Sovereignty, Food Systems Transformation, Redistribution, Regeneration, Reparations, COVID-19, Pandemic

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and cost economies trillions of dollars. Yet state responses have done little to address the negative externalities of the corporate food regime, which has contributed to, and exacerbated, the impacts of the pandemic. In this paper, we build on calls from the grassroots for states to undertake a strategic dismantling of the corporate food regime through redistributive policies and actions across scales, financed through reparations by key actors in the corporate food regime. We present a strategic policy framework drawn from the food sovereignty movement, outlined here as the “5Ds of Redistribution”: Decolonization, Decarbonization, Diversification, Democratization, and Decommodification. We then consider what would need to occur post-redistribution to ensure that the corporate food regime does not re-emerge, and pose five guiding principles grounded in Indigenous food sover­eignty to rebuild regenerative food systems, out­lined here as the “5Rs of Regeneration”: Relation­ality, Respect, Reciprocity, Responsibility, and Rights. Together these ten principles for redistri­bution and regeneration provide a framework for food systems transformation after COVID-19.

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Author Biographies

Dana James, The University of British Columbia

PhD candidate and Vanier Scholar, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) and the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm (CSFS), The University of British Columbia

Evan Bowness, The University of British Columbia

PhD candidate, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) and the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm (CSFS)

Tabitha Robin, The University of Manitoba

PhD student, Faculty of Social Work and the Department of Native Studies

Angela McIntyre, Simon Fraser University

Associate Director at the Centre for Collaborative Action on Indigenous Health Research

Colin Dring, The University of British Columbia

PhD candidate, Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems

Annette Aurélie Desmarais, The University of Manitoba

Canada Research Chair in Human Rights, Social Justice and Food Sovereignty

Hannah Wittman, The University of British Columbia

Professor, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, and the Faculty of Land and Food Systems

Logo for COVID-19's Impact on the Food System
Published
2021-02-07
How to Cite
James, D., Bowness, E., Robin, T., McIntyre, A., Dring, C., Desmarais , A., & Wittman, H. (2021). Dismantling and rebuilding the food system after COVID-19: Ten principles for redistribution and regeneration. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(2), 29–51. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2021.102.019
Section
Papers on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Food System