A Co-Operative Path to Food Security in the UK

16 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2011

See all articles by Molly Scott Cato

Molly Scott Cato

Roehampton University

Richard Bickle

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: December 9, 2011


The issue of food security is rising rapidly up the political agenda, especially in Europe. The broad parameters of the EU were developed in the immediate post-war years and, consequently, much of its early energy in the area of agriculture was devoted to supporting farmers and maximizing food production. This led to over-production and a lack of attention to environmental standards in agriculture. More recently, a number of ecological and economic issues have combined to threaten supplies of food to some of Europe’s developed nations, particularly the UK. This paper begins by outlining the nature of the problem facing the UK in terms of food supply. It sets the debate within the framework of climate change and resource insecurity, indicating that the UK’s policy of trading financial services in return for food bought on the global market seems increasingly vulnerable. The paper then moves on to consider the role of co-operatives in food production and distribution and identifies the dominance of food in the history and current status of the co-operative movement in the UK. By way of conclusion, the paper questions how the co-operative economic model may be able to make a timely contribution to underpinning food security in the UK.

Keywords: co-operatives, social enterprise, food security

JEL Classification: P13, Q13, Q24

Suggested Citation

Scott Cato, Molly and Bickle, Richard, A Co-Operative Path to Food Security in the UK (December 9, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1970245 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1970245

Molly Scott Cato (Contact Author)

Roehampton University ( email )

Roehampton Lane
London, SW15 5PU
United Kingdom

Richard Bickle

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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