Alternative Food Networks in the Global South
2017. In B. Frayne, J. Crush, and C. McCordic (Eds.), Food and nutrition security in Southern African cities. London: Routledge and Earthscan.
This chapter interrogates the dominant interpretations and discourses pertaining to alternative food networks (AFNs), and argues that the sustainability agendas and food-system disruption ethos of Northern AFNs are starkly different from the food-access and survival strategies that characterize Southern AFNs. Drawing on selected survey results and case studies carried out in Southern Africa between 2008 and 2013, this chapter sheds light on the complex and dynamic nature of AFNs in the global South, representing spatially bound relations between consumers, communities and the food market. The research surveys found significant levels of borrowing of food, food exchange and sharing, food provided by neighbours and other related food access coping strategies. These strategies all rely on strong reciprocal networks. These networks also challenge the discourses pertaining to the dominant hierarchical urban food policy approaches, while at the same time questioning the flat multiparty urban food governance aspirations of food policy councils.