Alternative Stewardship models: Social Businesses in Food Waste Recovery and Redistribution

Authors: Diana Watts*, Johns Hopkins University / Trinity Washington University
Topics: Urban Geography, Human-Environment Geography, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Food Waste, Recovery & Redistribution, Social Businesses
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: 8223, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Improved production efficiencies and food/ storage technologies are considered means to reduce surplus in the food systems production-distribution chains; however, it has been argued that food waste/ surplus is unavoidable (Sert et al. 2014.) Recognition of the importance of stewardship of natural resources, food security and social justice in food access has also increased in policy and public awareness. This has been coupled with a downward evolution of policies and funding away from federal to state and local authorities (Trudeau, 2008.) The contribution of the paper will be to discuss a case study of recovery, management and distribution of food surplus in Baltimore, MD. Although referencing the more traditional NPO activities, emphasis in this study will be on the growing role of social businesses, generally defined as those engaged in recovery/ distribution activities while committed to serving a market and earning a profit (Yunus, 2017). The relevance of this study will be to address alternative stewardship models that engage business actors directly contributing to sustainability initiatives in terms of both natural and social systems.

Sert, S., Garrone, P., & Melacini. M. (2014) Keeping food alive: Surplus food management. European Journal of Sustainable Development, 3 (4), 339-346.
Trudeau, D. (2008). Junior partner or empowered community? Journal of Urban Studies, 45(13), 2805-2827.
Yunus, M. (2017). A world of three zeros. New York: Public Affairs.

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