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Stories Of Apples: An exploration of the arenas of a London food supply

Nicol, Poppy 2010. Stories Of Apples: An exploration of the arenas of a London food supply. Presented at: AESOP Sustainable Food Conference, Brighton, UK, 29.10.2010 - 30.10.2010.

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Abstract

When considering metropolitan food systems, London could be perceived as consumptive goliath. As one of the key capitalist powerhouses of the west, it thrives upon the circulation of conspicuous capital. The food system within the city remains superficially tangible yet predominantly conspicuous in terms of the landscapes from which most food is derived. But even within such a ‘global’ city, a plurality of stories exists. This paper presents a study that considers how a variety of apples enter a community within London. The apple acts as a device through which a city-region’s food system and extent of connectivity with relevant productive land may be analysed and explored - leading to an examination of (r)urban food systems. Through deconstruction of the ‘applescape’ of a distinct community, different scales and meanings of procurement are considered. Through conducting a multi-level analysis, four different arenas are examined. These include the mainstream retail applescape in the form of supermarkets and the wholesale market sphere, which supplies the majority of independent retailers within the city. Cases of more direct links with producers are then considered - via community supported agriculture box schemes and local farmer’s markets – cases which, to some extent, connect more explicitly with the surrounding peri-urban interface. These economic cases are then contrasted with examples of more ecologically localised procurement in the form of gleaning projects and community orchards. The ways in which these different journeys are understood and accounted for is explored. It is hoped that the collection of accounts will lead to a more nuanced understanding of the different possible routes an apple might take in entering or growing within the city. What happens when production re-enters the public sphere of the urban environment? What stimulates individuals and groups to pursue different forms urban food supply? Does the (r) urbanisation of the apple lead to the thing gaining more meaning than commodity and does this ricochet in to the wider urban arena?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS)
Geography and Planning (CPLAN)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 02:09
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/20369

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