Diversity in Food Systems: The Case of Stockfree Organic

By: Richard Taylor and Piergiuseppe Morone
Date: 16 th September 2005
CPM Report No.: 05-155


This paper argues that organic growing is associated with high levels of agricultural and ecological diversity, and should be understood as `complex systems of culture' compared to conventional farming. The objective of this paper is to use a framework of complexity theory to investigate the ability of organic systems to meet the contemporary challenges of uncertainty and change in food production, by testing for the properties of resilience, adaptivity and innovation. We present a case study of Stockfree Organic Services (SOS), a committee of organic growers who are trying to promote a new `higher' standard of organic production called `Stockfree Organic' (SO) in which the farms and commercial gardens are free of all animal inputs.

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