PUREFOOD conference teaser – The many benefits of local food

On May 14 and 15 2014 the PUREFOOD conference entitled “Take action? Collaborative action for more sustainable food systems” will take place in Utrecht (The Netherlands). The morning of the first day (Wednesday May 14) will take place in the Central Museum of Utrecht and consists of three inspirational presentations followed by a reflection by keynote listener Professor Tim Lang and discussions in workshops. In the afternoon there will be three excursions to urban and peri-urban agriculture and food initiatives in and around Utrecht.

The second day of the conference (Thursday May 15) will take place in DeFabrique in Utrecht. This second day is a joint event of PUREFOOD and the Day of Urban Farming, with a keynote speech by Claus Meyer (founder of the New Nordic Cuisine movement and co-owner of restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, which is considered to be the world’s best restaurant) and a wide variety of parallel workshops. For more information see the conference program.

As a teaser for the PUREFOOD conference Creative Beards has made a short animation movie addressing the main issues that have been studied in PUREFOOD.

Theoretical approaches to the ecologisation of agrifood systems – European Society of Rural Sociology 2014 Summerschool

Transitions towards more sustainable agrifood systems and rural landscapes are at the core of societal demands, technological but also social innovations and renewed public policies at various scales. In rural sociology they are addressed through different theoretical frameworks and the main objective of the ESRS PhD Summer School this year, is to discuss these competing and sometimes articulated frameworks and thereby to help the PhD students to clarify their own theoretical choices and to position them in relation to other theoretical frameworks that are used in rural sociology. For students who are rather at the beginning of their PhD, the aim will be to help them organize their state of the art and clarify their problematisation, while for students who are more advanced, it would rather be a discussion of their results in the light of existing literature and/or possibly the preparation of a future article. All the participants should have an interest in the theoretical frameworks that will be structuring the discussion, i.e. mainly Socio-Ecological Systems/Resilience theories, Food Regime Theory, Transition Theories, Actor Network Theory, and Social Studies of Science and Knowledge. Continue reading

Interested in Food and Place?

Are you interested in the sociological aspects of food provisioning and place-based development and want to know more about topics like place-based food systems, food citizenship, civic food networks, sustainable place-shaping, diverse economies, place branding and social movements? Then it may be a relevant for you to attend the MSc course ‘Sociology of Food Provisioning and Place-based Development’ that starts on Monday 17 March 2014. Lectures and workshops are held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings for a period of 6 weeks. Included in the program is also a gastronomic excursion to rural estate Rhederoord, to experience the practice of place-making and enjoy the taste of place-based food products. Although registration for the course has formally closed you can still register for the course by sending an email to the course coordinator  (han.wiskerke@wur.nl). For more information about the content of the course, the program and the literature, have a look at the Course Guide.

Two food and urban farming conferences in The Netherlands in May 2014

Take action? Collaborative action for more sustainable food systems

PUREFOOD Conference, May 14th, Utrecht (The Netherlands)

On Wednesday May 14th 2014, the international PUREFOOD conference will take place in Utrecht (The Netherlands): “Take action? Collaborative action for more sustainable food systems.” This day marks the finalization of the EU-funded PUREFOOD program. The conference is connected to the Day of Urban Farming (‘Dag van de Stadslandbouw’), which takes place on May 15th in Utrecht.

The PUREFOOD conference starts with an informal drink and local bite on Tuesday evening the 13th of May. Wednesday morning the 14th will stimulate the dialogue between you and business, government and civil society representatives, with reflections by keynote listener Tim Lang (Professor of Food Policy at City University London). Taking 3 short, inspirational talks as the starting point, we will try to find answers to the rather challenging tasks we face for the (near) future with regard to making our food system more sustainable. With the experience of 12 PUREFOOD researchers, plus the presence of experienced and well-known scholars and practitioners, we can draw from a rich ‘database’ of knowledge. The challenge will be to connect all this knowledge present and translate it into advice for and action by various actors within our food system.

Wednesday afternoon 3 different excursions are offered, all visiting Utrecht and its peri-urban fringes. During the excursion you will experience the rich history of urban and peri-urban agriculture in Utrecht. The results of the workshop sessions and discussions on Wednesday morning, will feed into 9 English spoken sessions during the Day of Urban Farming on Thursday May 15th.

For more information: www.purefoodconference.com.

Third Edition Day of Urban Farming, The Netherlands

May 14th-17th Utrecht (The Netherlands)

After two previous editions in Almere (2012) and Rotterdam (2013), the Day of Urban Farming (‘Dag van de Stadslandbouw’) has become the authoritative professional event in the field of urban and urban oriented farming in The Netherlands. During this National Platform on May 15th 2014, its 400 participants and about 80 speakers will deal with the central topic how urban and peri-urban  farming and regional food systems can fulfill the needs of Dutch cities, its inhabitants and local farmers. Participants at the conference are farmers and urban farming entrepreneurs, food & agriculture executives and executives from city and regional governments, health organizations, social institutions, real estate developers, housing corporations, universities and colleges.

The conference consist of a plenary session with keynote speaker Claus Meyer (founder New Nordic Cuisine Movement; co-owner restaurant Noma (Copenhagen) and Sharon Dijksma (Minister of Agriculture of The Netherlands). The plenary session is followed by three rounds of breakout sessions, where one will be able to discuss a broad variety of urban farming subjects in further detail. Main items in 2014 will be:

  • health and social aspects
  • business models, value creation and economics
  • cultivation in and on buildings
  • urban area development and placemaking
  • sustainability and local cycles
  • local and regional food networks
  • urban and regional food policies and planning

For English speaking participants, 9 of the 27 breakout sessions will be held in English (in co-operation with the PUREFOOD conference). During three excursions on Wednesday May 14th, one will be able to meet farmers and urban gardeners in and around the city of Utrecht and hear about their experiences. On Saturday April 17th, the general public is invited to visit urban farms and urban gardens all over The Netherlands. In this way, local residents get the chance to become acquainted with urban farming projects in their own neighborhood.

For more information: www.dagvandestadslandbouw.nl.

Course announcement: Sociology of Food Provisioning and Place-based Development

The course ‘Sociology of Food Provisioning and Place-based Development’ starts on Monday 17 March 2014. This course is primarily designed for the Rural Sociology track in the specialisation ‘Sociology of Development’ of the Master International Development Studies. It is, however, open for all students interested in the sociology of food and place, provided they have a basic sociological understanding (at BSc-3 level) of transformation processes in food provisioning, rural and regional development and urban-rural linkages. For more information about the course have a look at the course description in the online study handbook or at the Leaflet Sociology of Food Provisioning and Place-based Development.

Job opening: Assistant / Associate Professor in Food Sociology (tenure track position)

The Rural Sociology Group of Wageningen University is looking for an assistant or associate professor in food sociology. As an assistant / associate professor you will teach and coordinate Bachelor and Master courses for the Bachelor and Master program International Development Studies (specialization Sociology of Development), the Master program Health and Society and for the Master program Food Technology (specialization Gastronomy), and supervise Master thesis research for these programmes. You will undertake independent research and participate in (and coordinate) international research projects, specifically focusing on food provisioning in urbanizing societies and on the relations between food and public health, social equity and sustainable urban and regional development. Other aspects of the job include project acquisition, training and supervision of PhD students and participation in various research and/or education committees.

 

We ask

  • A PhD degree in (rural) sociology, food policy, social/human geography or related social science discipline;
  • An inspiring vision on sustainable food provisioning in urban and metropolitan regions;
  • Considerable experience with agro-food research, proven by publications in key international journals, and preferably in the fields of food culture, alternative food networks, urban food strategies and/or public food procurement;
  • A relevant international network;
  • Good didactic qualities and the capacity to motivate students (candidates will be required to follow the Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Programme (LTHEP, in Dutch referred to as BKO), a system adopted by all Dutch universities);
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Good management skills;
  • Fluent in English;
  • Preferably a proven record in acquisition of research projects;

To be considered for an Associate Professorship, substantial teaching experience, proven didactic qualities, publications in leading journals and a proven record in acquisition of research projects and supervision of PhD students are prerequisites.

 

We offer

A challenging career trajectory called Tenure Track. From the position of Assistant Professor or Associate Professor you can eventually grow into the position of a Professor holding a Personal Chair. Of course training and coaching are provided and interdisciplinary (international) cooperation is stimulated. You will also be given the chance to build up your own research line.

We offer you a temporary contract for three years (0.8 – 1.0 fte), which can lead to a permanent employment contract. Gross salary:

  • Assistant professor: from € 3227 to € 4418 (Scale 11 CAO Dutch Universities), based on full time (1,0 fte) employment and dependent on expertise and experience.
  • Associate professor: from € 4472 to € 5444 (Scale 13 CAO Dutch Universities), based on full time (1,0 fte) employment and dependent on expertise and experience.

For more information about Tenure Track within Wageningen UR look at http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Jobs/Tenure-Track.htm

 

Additional information

Additional information about the vacancy can be obtained from:

Prof. dr. ir J.S.C. Wiskerke, Chair of Rural Sociology Telephone number: +31 317 482679/4507 E-mail address: han.wiskerke@wur.nl

 

Application

To apply, please upload your letter of motivation and your CV, including a list of publications via the online application button on the Wageningen University vacancy webpage before June 17 2013. You will receive an automatic e-mail confirmation within 24 hours.

New course: Sociology of Food Provisioning and Place-based Development

The MSc course “Understanding Rural Development: Theories, Practices and Methodologies” (course code RSO-31806) has been revised and renamed into “Sociology of Food Provisioning and Place-based Development”. The course is mandatory for Master students within the track Sociology of Rural Development of the Master International Development Studies, specializing in rural sociology and a free choice course for Master students of other programmes and tracks. If you are interested in topics such as alternative food geographies, food citizenship, food democracy, urban food provisioning, sustainable place shaping, and regional branding, it may be worth participating in this course. Students who do not have a BSc degree in International Development Studies or related field of expertise may not have the assumed prerequisite knowledge to successfully participate and are therefore requested to contact the course coordinator, Han Wiskerke (han.wiskerke@wur.nl), to see if and how this gap can be addressed.

For more information about the contents, schedule, learning outcomes and educational activities, please click on this link or contact the course coordinator for more information or the latest version of the course guide.

Beyond Divides: An International Winter School and Forum on Contemporary Agri-food Issues

The Marie Curie Initial Training Network PUREFOOD project team will host a winter school and forum in Barcelona from 12-22 November 2012. The forum will be a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary event, with the joint participation of the PUREFOOD research fellows and supervisory team, a diverse group of external Ph.D. students, and respected local and international scholars and practitioners. The forum will create an atmosphere of debate, exchange, and collaboration.  The academic program will feature three distinct learning modes – expert-led discussions, peer-led paper review, and thematically integrated site visits – and will include modules oriented to some of the most prominent themes in agri-food system scholarship today.

Key themes are:

  • Food security, rights and sovereignty;
  • Social imperatives, ethics and justice;
  • Food and alterity;
  • Food policy and governance;
  • State, market and society;
  • Innovation;
  • Tradition.

Speakers at the Winter school are:

  • Dr. Patricia Allen, Director of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, University of California, Santa Cruz, United States
  • Dr. Jesús Contreras Hernández, Professor of Social Anthropology, Director of the Food and Foodways Observatory, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • Dr. Mike Goodman, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, King’s College London, United Kingdom
  • Dr. James Kirwan, Reader in Food Studies and Society, Countryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
  • Dr. F. Xavier Medina, Director, Department Food Systems, Culture & Society at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Academic Director at Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

For more information about the Winter School click on  Beyond Divides – Program and Application Form. If you want to participate, please complete the application form and send it to Jessica Spayde (spaydejj@cardiff.ac.uk) by 3 October 2012.

New book – Sustainable Food Planning: Evolving Theory and Practice

Half the world’s population is now urbanised and cities are assuming a larger role in debates about the security and sustainability of the global food system. Hence, planning for sustainable food production and consumption is becoming an increasingly important issue for planners, policymakers, designers, farmers, suppliers, activists, business and scientists alike. The rapid growth of the food planning movement owes much to the unique multi-functional character of food systems. In the wider contexts of global climate change, resource depletion, a burgeoning world population, competing food production systems and diet-related public health concerns, new paradigms for urban and regional planning capable of supporting sustainable and equitable food systems are urgently needed. This book addresses this urgent need. By working at a range of scales and with a variety of practical and theoretical models, this book reviews and elaborates definitions of sustainable food systems, and begins to define ways of achieving them. Four different themes have been defined as entry-points into the discussion of ‘sustainable food planning’. These are (1) urban food governance, (2) integrating health, environment and society, (3) urban agriculture (4) planning and design. Continue reading

2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 37,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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