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Call for papers: “The socio-technical culture of the food supply chain: trade-offs and ambiguity”

Call for papers: “The socio-technical culture of the food supply chain: trade-offs and ambiguity”

Call for papers, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, 28-31 August 2018 in Cardiff, UK. Abstract submissions are invited from established and as well as early stage and postgraduate researchers for the Food Geography Working Group sponsored session “The socio-technical culture of the food supply chain: trade-offs and ambiguity” at the RGS with IBG Annual International Conference, which will take place from 28 to 31 August 2018 in Cardiff, UK.

Session convenor: Louise Manning, Harper Adams University, 

This session considers the complex interaction between humans, machines and the socio-cultural and socio-technical environmental aspects of our food systems. The impact of applying technological solutions to feed a growing, largely urban global population is not deterministic. Instead solutions arise from complex interactions within industrial, organisational and socio-economic contexts. Whether the issue is meeting the UN sustainable development goals, addressing the uptake of technology in the food supply chain, labour and human rights issues, food safety, nutrition and health, reducing food waste, or addressing corruption, crime and food fraud; this socio-technical interaction mediates all activity and responses. This session seeks to consider some of these issues and also the trade-offs and ambiguity that results as those working in the food supply chain take a range of options; entrenching, accommodating and coping, or alternatively adapting, innovating or enabling change for the better. 
  • What is the socio-technical solution to meeting the challenge of feeding the population in five, ten, fifty, one hundred years time?
  • How well do existing socio-technical food systems consistently deliver safe food to consumers?
  • Where is the ambiguity in the food supply chain discourse and does it affect notions of justice, equity and nutritional access for all?
  • What will be the trade-offs that society and individuals will need to make?

Papers are welcomed that address these and related questions in a range of landscapes, including urban, rural, post-industrial, historical and contemporary.
Full details on the RGS-IBG AC 2018 conference can be found here and information about the RGS-IBG FGWG can be found here.
Enquiries and abstract submission (together with a title, up to five keywords and author(s) affiliation and contact details) should be sent to Louise Manning ( by 9th of February 2018. The final decision on whether or not papers have been accepted will follow on Friday 23rd February 2018.


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