Steve Gliessman

Organisation : University of California, Santa Cruz
Category : Academia
Region : North America
What are, or should be, the main characteristics of agroecological innovations ? (sentences or key words) : First and foremost, agroecological innovations should be much more than just farming practices. They should be new ways to create food system change at all levels of the food system, from the farm to the table, from the farmer to the eater, and for all sectors of society. They should be co-created through participatory collaboration where research and practice are joined, where agroecological science links with local farmer knowledge, and where a relationship-based food system provides food that is safe, healthy, and available to everyone. Agroecological innovations also include new and effective policies that respect the rights of everyone to food that is good for them, for the environment, for each person's culture, for local economies, and for future generations.
Why are these characteristics important for agroecological transitions to sustainable food systems ? :
  • This integrated, multi-dimensional view of innovations is needed in order to support the movements around the world that are grounded in agroecology. Agroecological innovations usually can find more immediate application in changing farming practices, but innovations must also be developed and applied in everything from bringing diversity back to agricultural landscapes, providing access to land, developing short-chain and local markets, enacting policy changes that strengthen food sovereignty, and many more. Ultimately, innovations in thinking and acting are needed in order to put "Culture" back into Agri-Culture.