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Figure 10.1.5. Typology of Food Systems into Smallholder, Globalized Corporate, and Alternative types. Two major types at left are the globalized corporate system which is dominant in the industrialized world and in terms of trade of major commodities, and smallholder systems which are in fact extremely important at local and regional levels in the developing world, with more than two billion smallholder farmers globally growing, trading, and selling food in these contexts. The vertical and horizontal axes in the diagram attempt to capture the variation in these systems regarding their integration into global markets and specialized industrial production (vertical axis), and the way in which the systems at right are responses to sustainability challenges of the modern food system (horizontal axis). The alternative types at right, which reflect current trends and movements in the modern food system towards sustainability, are divided into a alternative global or "ecologically modernized" type (see module 2 on the history of food systems) along with a more local or community-based food system type, with both alternative food system types responding to sustainability critiques of the globalized food system in recent history. It is also important to realize that different food systems overlap and are certainly not spatially isolated: for example, smallholders in the developing world simultaneously participate in both smallholder and global ways of producing and consuming food, and urban consumers the world over may simultaneously purchase food from all four systems.
Originally uploaded in Integrate:Teaching for Sustainability:InTeGrate Modules:Future of Food:Student Materials.

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