Reconnecting people, place, and nature: Examining alternative food networks in Newfoundland's fisheries
Background: Fisheries have played a significant role in the economic development of Newfoundland and Labrador and continue to contribute to coastal livelihoods and local food security. However, the access to and availability of locally harvested fish and seafood in the province is notably lacking, particularly since federal and provincial policies have prioritized the development of export markets in the fisheries over local sales. In this paper, we examine market actors and civil society organizations in St. John's (the provincial capital) and Petty Harbour (a nearby fishing community) that have embarked on initiatives to better include fish and seafood in the local food system. The success of these initiatives depends in part on the degree of connectivity between consumers and harvesters, as well as between people, the culture of fishing, and the marine environment. Results: Reconnections are the foundations of alternative food networks (AFNs), which aim to develop more environmentally and socially sustainable and localized ways of producing, distributing, retailing, and consuming food. This paper explores the social, cultural, and ecological values of the fisheries as means to forging reconnections. The research reveals that values pertaining to traditional food culture, environmental stewardship and conservation, localization, and social cohesion were significant motivating factors for stakeholders in seeking out reconnection in their food system. Conclusions: While AFNs in Newfoundland's fisheries are currently underdeveloped, reconnections are nonetheless taking place along the fisheries supply chain and can contribute to enhancing the accessibility and availability of locally harvested fish. The study also finds that AFNs must be context appropriate and reflect local values, as there are significant opportunities in building on Newfoundland's strong fishing culture and heritage.
|Keywords||Alternative food networks, Fisheries, Reconnection, Values|
|Journal||Agriculture and Food Security|
DesRivières, C.P. (Chloé Poitevin), Chuenpagdee, R. (Ratana), & Mather, C. (Charles). (2017). Reconnecting people, place, and nature: Examining alternative food networks in Newfoundland's fisheries. Agriculture and Food Security, 6(1). doi:10.1186/s40066-017-0112-x