This is also a call to other researchers to contribute to this space as guest writers. The websites and the book move between a global outlook and situated accounts, generated primarily in the geographical settings of Aotearoa New Zealand and Tanzania. Such a project eventually reaches its limits. Once we treat farmland investments as “boundary objects” to which scholars contribute from different geographical, theoretical, and methodological angles, this is not necessarily a bad thing. It is rather an invitation to different scholars to assemble the rich insights they have generated on the finance-driven land rush through their own research since 2007/08 in one dedicated space in a reflective manner. A particular focus will be put on emerging perspectives in a fast-changing field, where sometimes assumptions and statements made in the past hold no longer true in the present; where just another crisis or government regulation has crashed the dreams of investors; where suddenly AG tech and not farmland is heralded as the most promising new “asset class”, or where methodological advances now suddenly allow us to account in more granular ways about trends and investment footprints in the ‘AG space’. It is also a chance for scholars to revisit their own (past) research in light of recent advances in debates and research findings. We will offer fellow researchers exposure on the platform, as well as graphic design services in case you would like to contribute figures or photos. Over the coming months (and years?), we plan to curate posts on the following themes:
I will reach out to many of your over the coming months. We shall start with theme 1. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the website.
Edited by Victoria Stead and Melinda Hinkson, the collection takes the upheaval of the pandemic as a springboard from which to interrogate a larger set of structural, environmental and political fault lines running through the global food system. In a context in which disruptions to the production, distribution and consumption of food are figured as exceptions to the smooth, just-in-time efficiencies of global supply chains, the essays examine the pandemic not simply as a particular and acute moment of disruption but rather as a lens on a deeper, longer set of structural processes within which disruption is endemic.
The thirteen chapters offer short, sharp interventions that track disruptive forces & political possibilities at key points along the global food supply chain – and, critically, beyond it. They traverse subjects ranging from agri-investment to corporate and alternative food production systems, labour relations, pandemic supermarkets, logistics systems, the politics of hunger, the limits of consumer ethics, and the possibilities of supply chain disruptions as moments of reprieve. They offer rich, generative reflections on the contemporary global food system, and would also be very well suited to being used as teaching resources.
Introduction: Beyond global supply chains by Melinda Hinkson and Victoria Stead
Supply chains as disruption by Lauren Rickards and Melinda Hinkson
Agri-investment cashing in on COVID-19 by Sarah Sippel
Putting the crisis to work by Victoria Stead and Kirstie Petrou
Going against the grain in the West Australian wheatbelt by Kelly Donati
Reviving community agrarianism in post-socialist China by Daren Shi-Chi-Leung
Fantasies of logistics in Aotearoa New Zealand by Matthew Henry and Carolyn Morris
Reproducing hunger in pandemic America by Maggie Dickinson
The pandemic supermarket by David Boarder Giles
Disruption as reprieve? by Jon Altman and Francis Markham
The UN Food Systems Summit: Disaster capitalism and the future of food by Tomaso Ferrando
Against consumer ethics by Christopher Mayes and Angie Sassano