The Hungry Cities Food Purchases Matrix: Household Food Sourcing and Food System Interaction

Urban Forum. 2017, 28(4): 421-433.

Urban food insecurity is partly the result of interactions between households and the broader food system. There is considerable discussion and debate on the most appropriate measures of household food insecurity but very little on how to quantify interactions between households and the system. One priority is to develop food security metrics that incorporate household interactions with the food retail environment. The Hungry Cities Food Purchases Matrix (HCFPM) is one such metric developed for relating household food sourcing behaviour to that environment. The matrix has been successfully used by the Hungry Cities Partnership to shed light on food sourcing and food system interactions in a number of cities in the Global South. Using Maputo as a case study, this paper discusses the objectives, structure and potential of the HCFPM for African cities and illustrates how in can provide important insights into household-food system interactions. The HCFPM therefore opens up a new way of understanding household purchasing behaviour and associated food insecurity.

Jonathan Crush, Cameron McCordic