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Covid-19: The local as a site of food security resilience in the times of pandemic: opportunities, challenges and ways forward.

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted on the UK’s food systems, and disruptions are likely to continue. There is emerging evidence that the local food sector (local food producers and their supply chains) can significantly contribute to the resilience of the UK’s food system at this time. However, robust data is needed to better understand the impact this sector can make on food security during and after the pandemic, and to help maximise its contribution. By working closely with key businesses and organisations in the local food sector, this 5-stage project will use surveys, interviews, citizen science, and backcasting to provide timely evidence on1. the sectors’ robustness, capturing the impact of and response to the pandemic (deliverable 1);2. its adaptability, gathering information on adaptation by local producers, short chains and intermediate actors (deliverables 2 & 3);3. its route to transformation in the post-pandemic context, assessing longer-term changes in supply chain and policy levels (deliverables 4 & 5).The project will collect and feeding back robust data, and by providing structured space for sector wide collaboration and long-term planning. It will thus enable the business and policy actors on local and national levels to maximise the local food system's contribution to UK’s food security, and to ensure its sustainability and resilience. This project has significant buy-in from key businesses and organisations in this sector, as well as policymakers, as evidenced by letters of support. It is therefore highly likely to ensure high participation rates and deliver significant impact.

Lead investigator:

Anna Krzywoszynska


The University of Sheffield

Primary topic:

Trade & supply chains

Secondary topic:

Business, big & small

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection