Dismantling and Rebuilding the Food System after COVID-19: Ten Principles for Redistribution and Regeneration

Authors: Dana James*, University of British Columbia, Evan Bowness*, The University of British Columbia, Tabitha Robin, University of Manitoba, Angela McIntyre, University of British Columbia, Colin Dring*, University of British Columbia, Annette Aurélie Desmarais, University of Manitoba, Hannah Wittman, University of British Columbia
Topics: Food Systems, Canada
Keywords: Corporate food regime, COVID-19, food sovereignty, food systems transformation, redistribution
Session Type: Virtual Paper
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The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and cost economies trillions of dollars. State responses, while necessary, have done little to address the negative externalities of the corporate food regime, which has contributed to (and exacerbated the impacts of) the pandemic. In this paper, we build on calls from the grassroots for states to undertake a strategic dismantling of the corporate food regime through a suite of redistributive policies and actions across scales, financed through reparations paid by key actors in the corporate food regime. We present a strategic policy framework drawn from the food sovereignty movement, outlined here as the “5Ds of Redistribution”: Decolonization, Decarbonization, Diversification, Democratization, and Decommodification. We then consider what would need to occur post- redistribution to ensure that the corporate food regime does not re-emerge, and pose five guiding principles grounded in Indigenous food sovereignty to rebuild regenerative food systems, outlined here as the “5Rs of Regeneration”: Relationality, Respect, Reciprocity, Responsibility, and Rights. Together these ten principles for redistribution and regeneration provide a framework for food systems transformation after COVID-19.

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