Groundcondition participates in Beyond Divides: International Forum on Contemporary Food and Agriculture Issues

Building bridges:

The PUREFOOD event “Beyond Divides: An International Winter School and Forum on Contemporary Agri-Food Issues” forges network, debate and learning


12 to 22 November 2012


The PUREFOOD Network and the Food and Nutrition Observatory of the University of Barcelona played host to the international winter school ‘Beyond Divides: An International Forum on Contemporary Agri-Food Issues”, held in Barcelona from the 12th through the 22nd of November, 2012.

With a mission of fomenting debate, exchange and collaboration, the forum featured various opportunities and learning formats, including thematic panels and roundtables on contemporary themes such as food justice, alternative food networks, food and nutrition security, tradition and innovation. It also proposed an integrated program of site visits that leveraged exemplars from a Catalan culture particularly strong in both food tradition and innovation, including visits to the Fundación Alicia (the food and science foundation patronized by leading chef Ferran Adría), the Parc Agrari del Baix Llobregat (‘home’ to over 500 small producers), Mercabarna (the second-largest wholesale market in Europe), the Boquería (the flagship of Barcelona’s well-used network of 44 municipal markets), and Cavas Guilera (a small family-run cava producer in Catalonia’s renowned Penedés wine region).

Key themes:

  • Food security, rights and sovereignty
  • Social imperatives, ethics and justice
  • Food and alterity
  • Food policy and governance
  • State, market and society
  • Innovation
  • Tradition

Speakers at the Winter school:

  • Dr. Patricia Allen, Director of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, University of California, Santa Cruz, United States
  • Dr. Jesús Contreras Hernández, Professor of Social Anthropology, Director of the Food and Foodways Observatory, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
  • Dr. Mike Goodman, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, King’s College London, United Kingdom
  • Dr. James Kirwan, Reader in Food Studies and Society, Countryside and Community Research Institute, University of Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

PUREFOOD is a Marie Curie Initial Training Network (an EU FP7 project) designed to build capacity and knowledge around the critical issues that define the contemporary peri-urban foodscape, including, among others topics, food and nutrition security, public health, and sustainable urban and rural development. The network comprises 12 fellows (early-stage researchers / Ph.D. students) at seven universities worldwide, each working on distinct projects related to secure and sustainable agri-food systems, as well as a leadership team of academic and non-academic partners.

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