Possibilities of food forestry: Tactics and practices in the Dutch economic landscape

Project: PhD

Project Details


The industrialization of food production has improved accessibility and affordability of food products at an unprecedented scale. The resulting industrial food systems, however, have a major ecological footprint. Alternative production systems, which draw on traditional farming methods, are (re-)emerging globally in effort to sustain both human and more-than-human communities. An example of such an alternative is food forestry (FF), a land-use system that is becoming increasingly prevalent in the Netherlands. Food forestry is a form of agriculture that combines biodiversity restoration and food production, employing natural ecosystems with a rich biodiversity instead of monoculture, where the farmer specifically selects plant species that can be consumed. It remains unclear how these food forests operate and how they are embedded at a local, regional, and even a national scale. This project seeks to address the social and economic possibilities for food forestry in the Netherlands. To create a holistic account of possibilities for food forestry, I investigate food forestry as movement. Second, I study the tactics FF practitioners employ to appropriate the available infrastructure around food forestry. Thereupon I zoom in to explore the diverse ways in which food forests are performed. Additionally, I examine current consumer practices in relation to food forestry. Finally, I compare FF in the Netherlands with FF abroad. Focusing on possibilities, rather than vulnerabilities, lends credibility to food forestry as an alternative food system, and sets the stage for future directions.
Effective start/end date24/01/22 → …


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