In this fourth chapter of the series that we started in October, on the theme of “local currencies”, after an overview of the advantages and challenges of local currencies through the example of the Léman (October 2018), the possibilities for collaboration and synergies between local currencies and local contract agriculture (LCA) (December 2018), and the interest of local currencies as tools for the development of economic agricultural sectors (February 2019), we are now proposing no longer to start from sectors, but from territories (neighborhoods, villages, etc.) to build short-circuits and collectively be part of the transition.
The climate crisis brings us back to common sense by making us aware that it is ecologically, economically and socially absurd to consume, in Geneva or Paris, tomatoes harvested in Holland, canned in Romania and whose cans themselves have been produced in Southeast Asia. The free movement of goods, particularly in the agricultural sector, has led to the economic specialization of entire regions and increased dependence on traders and large distributors. The competition between all the world’s territories produces great economic and social vulnerability everywhere locally; it is neither ecologically sustainable nor economically sustainable. That is why we come back to “short food supply chains”.
It is common to refer to ” short food supply chains ” as distribution channels, most often agricultural, where only one intermediary operates between the producer and the consumer, whether through direct sales (see our article on Local Agriculture,December 2018 , ) or indirect sales.
Today, there is a growing demand for ” short food supply chains “, because as consum’actors we want to protect our health and our environment at the same time. But historically, short circuits were the rule, especially just outside the city walls, as in Geneva on the Plain of Plainpalais or in Paris for market gardening villages to supply halls and urban markets.
However, the idea of ” short food supply chains “, in its contemporary renaissance, refers to the representation of ” Small is Beautiful ” (by the British economist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher) and of Territorial self-organization, as Hans Widmer (P. M.) imagines it, where ” neighborhood” are both economic and social living areas ” at human level ” and political spaces for governance in the communes.Read more