Food system resilience: Concepts, issues and challenges

M Zurek, J Ingram, AS Bellamy, C Goold, Sofia C Franco

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Food system resilience has multiple dimensions. We draw on ‘food system’ and ‘resilience’ concepts and review resilience framings of different communities. We present four questions to frame food system resilience (resilience of what? to what? from who’s perspective? and over what time period?), and three approaches to enhancing resilience (‘robustness’, ‘recovery’ and ‘reorientation’; the three ‘Rs’). We focus on enhancing resilience of food system outcomes and argue this will require food system actors adapting their activities, noting that activities do not change spontaneously, but in response to a change in drivers: an opportunity or a threat. However, operationalising resilience enhancement involves normative choices, and will result in decisions having to be negotiated about trade-offs among food system outcomes for different stakeholders. New approaches to including different food system actors’ perceptions and goals are needed to build food systems that are better positioned to address challenges of the future.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Environment and Resources
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2022


  • adaptation
  • robustness
  • recovery
  • reorientation
  • social-ecological systems
  • transformation


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