The mainstream system of food supply has been heavily criticized in the last years due to its social and environmental impacts. Direct food purchasing schemes have emerged in recent decades as a form of supply that may be more ecologically sound and socially just, while allowing for a closer relationship between producers and consumers. The aim of this article is to show how a specific kind of direct supply, Collaborative Food Alliances, may help to foster sustainable urban-rural linkages. This paper presents, compares and discusses seven different cases, located in five different countries: Movimento de Integração Campo-Cidade (MICC) (Brazil), Canasta Comunitaria Utopía (Ecuador), GAS Testaccio Meticcio and Gasper (Italy), Grupo de Consumo Vera and Grupo de Consumo de Russafa (Spain), and De Groene Schuur at Zeist (The Netherlands). Analysis of the seven cases reveals that, through alliances between consumers and producers, solidarity and sustainable food supply are built. City dwellers benefit from such alliances by receiving organic products on a stable basis and at a fair price, while providing farmers with a stable income.
- Local food supply
- Producers and consumers alliances
- Sustainable food
- Urban-rural linkages