Agroecology Knowledge Hub

Circular and solidarity economy: it reconnects producers and consumers and provides innovative solutions for living within our planetary boundaries while ensuring the social foundation for inclusive and sustainable development

Agroecology seeks to reconnect producers and consumers through a circular and solidarity economy that prioritizes local markets and supports local economic development by creating virtuous cycles. Agroecological approaches promote fair solutions based on local needs, resources and capacities, creating more equitable and sustainable markets. Strengthening short food circuits can increase the incomes of food producers while maintaining a fair price for consumers. These include new innovative markets, alongside more traditional territorial markets, where most smallholders market their products.

Social and institutional innovations play a key role in encouraging agroecological production and consumption. Examples of innovations that help link producers and consumers include participatory guarantee schemes, local producer’s markets, denomination of origin labelling, community supported agriculture and e-commerce schemes. These innovative markets respond to a growing demand from consumers for healthier diets.

Re-designing food systems based on the principles of circular economy can help address the global food waste challenge by making food value chains shorter and more resource-efficient. Currently, one third of all food produced is lost or wasted, failing to contribute to food security and nutrition, while exacerbating pressure on natural resources. The energy used to produce food that is lost or wasted is approximately 10 percent of the world’s total energy consumption, while the food waste footprint is equivalent to 3.5 Gt CO2 of greenhouse gas emissions per year.

Database

The Agroecology Criteria Tool (ACT) enables the assessment of a project through the lens of agroecology: it visualizes the degree to which a project, program or policy is aligned with the various dimensions of agroecology. The methodology is based on the analytical framework by Gliessman on the 5 levels of...
Innovation
2020
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, several initiatives have emerged or been reformulated in response to the challenge of the human food system. An important challenge now is to consolidate a cultural transition towards the consumption of locally produced healthy food. Thus, shifting to healthy and sustainable food systems...
Article
2020
Featuring cases in different sectors and countries around the world, this publication introduces the agroecology approach to linking food, livelihoods and natural resources, presents 10 Elements of Agroecology, and looks at ways of scaling up the people-centred approach to ensure its potential impact is fully realized, promising a brighter future...
Report
2018
Agroecology is not a new invention. It can be identified in scientific literature since the 1920s, and has found expression in family farmers’ practices, in grassroots social movements for sustainability and the public policies of various countries around the world. More recently, agroecology has entered the discourse of international and UN...
Book
2018
Agroecology has three practical forms—a scientific discipline, an agricultural practice, and a social movement. Their integration has provided a collective-action mode for contesting the dominant agro-food regime and creating alternatives, especially through a linkage with food sovereignty. At the same time, agroecology has been recently adopted by some actors who...
Journal article
2014