Making reconnections in agro-food geography: alternative systems of food provision

David Charles Hunter Watts, B. Ilbery, D. Maye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

350 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews recent research into alternative systems of food provision. It considers, first, what the concept of 'alternativeness' might mean, based on recent discussions in economic geography. Informed by this, it discusses food relocalization and the turn to 'quality' food production, arguing that both are 'weaker' alternative systems of food provision because of their emphasis on food. It then examines some 'stronger' alternative systems of food provision, which emphasize the networks through which food passes. Lastly, the paper reflects on the concept of alternativeness in the context of food supply chains, and suggests some possible directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-40
Number of pages18
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • alternative food networks
  • relocalization
  • turn to 'quality'
  • weaker and stronger alternative systems of food provision
  • regional speciality food
  • production consumption networks
  • rural development
  • post productivism
  • fair trade
  • quality
  • policy
  • embeddedness
  • market
  • UK

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