How social enterprises contribute to sustainable food systems

What does it mean for a social enterprise to take food into account?

Social enterprise experiences in the sustainable food chain are spreading in various regions of Europe and include a wide range of initiatives. These experiences show that social enterprises are engaged in a search for new ways of interacting in the production and consumption of food, while showing an active and participatory commitment to their communities.
We have investigated social enterprises that are part of sustainable food systems across Europe. Our study begins with an overview of food systems, and a brief discussion of the concept of sustainable food systems. The second part deals with the social economy and social enterprises as models for the development of sustainable food systems, and presents some alternative patterns for food systems developed by social economy enterprises, such as social farming and community food. The third part of the study focuses on the role of the social entrepreneur and presents some good practices of social enterprises involved in creating sustainable food systems. This research has enabled us to elaborate some observations on the role of social economy organisations in the implementation of actions toward sustainable food systems.