How Social Enterprises Contribute to Alternative Food Systems

Diesis’s paper “How Social Enterprises Contribute to Alternative Food Systems”  has been published in the CIRIEC’s series of working papers under the number 2019/14.

What does it mean for a social economy enterprise to take food into account? The paper contributes to this branch of studies with the aim of understanding how social enterprises are able to generate alternative food systems to promote food sovereignty and sustainability. Firstly, a review of the relevant literature is presented, with the aim of showing an overview of the relationship between social economy enterprises and sustainable development with a specific focus on sustainable food. Following this, after a description of the methodology employed, the experiences of a number of social enterprises of food sector among Europe that have implemented innovative projects involving sustainability and counteracting the desertification of rural areas, women’s employment, migrant integration, decent job conditions and work integration. This leads to a discussion of the results, the interpretation of the new roles of social enterprises, and the identification of the main implications. The main thing that links all these cases is five key elements, which are present in all the experiences we analysed: inclusion, equity, respect, responsibility and opportunity. These elements can be seen as keywords and important aspects for a transition towards more sustainable food systems through social economy enterprises.

Download here the Working Paper

or visit ➡

CIRIEC International (the International Centre of Research and Information on the Public, Social and Cooperative Economy) is an international, non-governmental scientific organization which brings together enterprises and entities of the social economy (cooperatives, mutual societies, foundations and cultural and philanthropic associations) and of the public sector, as well as people interested in these fields.