DownScale-Up!: Downscaling global agri-food flows with an upscaled regional system

DownScale-Up!: Downscaling global agri-food flows with an upscaled regional system
Rosa de Kruif
Henriette Hugenholtz
Yuru Chou
Amber Luesink

Tutors: Caroline Newton, Lei Qu and Alexander Wandl

Key words: agri-food, circular economy, global flows, regional food system, participation

Data on import and export in the Netherlands shows the big agri-food flows in which the country is involved. Sadly, these global flows have a big impact on economic, social and environmental sustainability worldwide.
For example, transport causes many emissions, there is an unfair economic system that keeps farmers trapped and there is a lot of environmental damage. This is a situation that needs to change, but the Netherlands is
also very dependent on the economy that the worldwide trade brings. This shows the problem that South Holland is dealing with: The Netherlands is too much economic dependent on its agri-food import and export flows and is thereby causing economic, social and environmental sustainability challenges.

This project proposes to DownScale international agrifood flows and Scale-Up a regional food system. The import and export flows are limited to only the European Union while food hubs and knowledge networks contribute to a system in which local food consumption and participation are important values. Waste, water and CO2 systems contribute to a circular approach of these DownScaled flows and the production of seaweed helps to change the diet which is necessary to make a DownScaled system possible. The project is supported by a sustainability triangle resulting from the nested sustainability model, the R-ladder of sustainability and the X-curve for a sustainable transition. A toolkit of interventions is designed as a strategy to achieve the vision goals. With DownScale-Up a new circular economy with DownScaled international flows and a Scaled-Up regional food system, is created by 2050.

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