By Judith Hitchman, URGENCI international network

Enacting Resilience”: the report on the response of Local Solidarity-based Partnerships for Agroecology (LSPA) to the Covid-19 Crisis has been released about a year ago, right in the middle of the pandemic. The team of grassroots actors, practitioners and researchers gathered by URGENCI wanted to gain a detailed understanding of how solidarity-based short supply chains and territorial food distribution systems support people’s access to food during this crisis throughout the world. It is important to understand and share the role these initiatives and schemes play in challenging times.

The practitioners of LSPA, producers and consumers alike, have been enacting their own vision of resilience: they have been emphasizing the importance of social connections in their everyday commitments, rather than relying solely on technological solutions like “click and collect”. This is demonstrated by the observation of an increased level of commitment of members, through farm visits, help given during distribution and work on the farm. The partnerships have been strengthened in the Covid-19 period.

LSPAs have been providing reliable and solid grounding for producers in a period marked by panic buying, high volatiliy and the disorganization of long supply chains.

LSPAs have also been extending support to consumers. For many groups, this is nothing new. The importance of social cohesion and access to healthy local food for all has been stressed, including by international institutions.

Many actors of conventional food markets have been trying to capture the momentum, but the LSPA movement is confident it cannot be copted as long as its principles are clearly stated and followed.

To read the full report, click here and don’t miss the Policy recommendations at the end of the report…

There is also an on-going Task Team in the CSM (Civil Society and Indigeneous Peoples’ Mechanism) of the Committee on Food Security working on a joined-up inter UN Agency response to Covid that lays heavy emphasis on the importance of SSE.

You can as well watch the workshop ‘Stories from Covid-19 and Policy Perspectives’ organised by Urgenci with Dr. Shi Yan (China), Laurence Lewalle (Belgium), Isa Alvarez (Spain) and facilitated by Judith Hitchman, President of the International Committee of URGENCI. The workshp reports on several experiences around the world and compares the reactions of CSA actors to combat Covid19. A complete and enriching overview of initiatives.