Chapter 10: Circular food systems: a blueprint for regenerative innovations in a regional UK context
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The global food system is under pressure to supply affordable, nutritious and appetising products. To maximise production and affordability, the food system has become extractive, linear and excessively reliant on imports and long supply chains. This has resulted in harmful environmental, human and economic health impacts, including: increased greenhouse gas emissions; biodiversity loss; high levels of food waste; poor diets; preventable diseases; poorly paid jobs; low productivity; reduced opportunities for SMEs; etc. The most promising solutions to these challenges will emerge from a shift to more diverse, regional food systems that adopt low-carbon and regenerative agriculture principles, engaging consumers to increasingly consume local, sustainable produce. This chapter will introduce the blueprint of a regional circular food system that relies on the principles of cooperation, resource sharing, value retention and enhancement, leading to multiple health benefits. A circular food system is best achieved through a dynamic process of co-creation at the regional level, addressing multiple environmental, social and economic challenges in a specific geography. Yet, a regional, circular approach is not protectionist or isolationist. On the contrary, it also enables global cooperation and sharing between regions for mutual co-benefit and global environmental gain.

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