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Urban food governance and equity: A case study of farmers’ markets in London

Neumann, N. (2022). Urban food governance and equity: A case study of farmers’ markets in London. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

Abstract

Urban food strategies often aim to address inequalities in access to healthy food, as well as aim to support local food systems, including farmers’ markets. It is important to understand how these goals are linked in practice. This research explored how equality in access was considered in the governance of farmers’ markets in London, and how this was linked to urban food policy.

A case study of the governance of farmers’ markets in London was conducted. Methods included a document analysis of urban food strategies and web content of organisations running farmers’ markets; geographical mapping of farmers’ markets in London according to levels of deprivation; and eighteen semi-structured interviews with people running farmers’ markets, farmers, urban food policy stakeholders and NGO representatives. Documents and semi-structured interviews were analysed using thematic content analysis.

This study found that farmers’ markets in London were governed primarily by individual organisations, with little or no support or involvement from urban food policy. Whilst in some cases people organising farmers’ markets considered economic, geographic or cultural access through different strategies, this did not form a priority. This was mainly due to a reported tension between considering equality in access and ensuring livelihoods for farmers. The consideration of equality in access to farmers’ markets was not supported by urban food policy.

Addressing the tension between considering equality in access and securing livelihoods for farmers would require support from urban food policy, as well as wider policy. In urban food policy in London issues of access and farmers’ markets were not linked, which relates to a series of economic and social barriers, but also to policy stakeholders’ assumptions and beliefs about farmers’ markets, as well as to a separation of rural and urban equity in urban food policy. Change in urban food policy to support access to farmers’ markets would require change in the beliefs and assumptions of policy stakeholders. Further, it would be necessary for urban food policy stakeholders to address rural and urban equity holistically in line with a food systems approach as set out in urban food strategies.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management > Food Policy
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > School of Health & Psychological Sciences Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
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