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Life after 2008: Evaluating the future of Technological Optimism, Neoliberalism and Cheap Food?
Presenter: Hugh Campbell

October 4, 4-5pm
Centre for Sustainability, 547 Castle St


The world food crisis of 2008 signaled the start of a period of crisis, instability and change in the global politics of food. This crisis also brought into sharper focus the long term implications of changing climate and energy scenarios for the world food system. In this presentation, the current state of crisis and its implications for the world of food will be considered in relation to both global food markets and for New Zealand as a major food exporting country. In broad terms, the three key global dynamics that need careful examination are: 1) the possible end of the 150 year long era of cheap food, 2) technological optimism as the guiding paradigm of agricultural development and, 3) the unquestioned legitimacy of trade liberalization as the dominant approach to global food governance. The situation facing New Zealand food exports over the last fifteen years has been described previously as exhibiting a need to transition from ?producing quantities to producing qualities? in order to secure strong export outcomes in discriminating food markets. This transition will be re-considered in light of the wider trends emerging since the food crisis of 2008.


About the speaker:

Professor Hugh Campbell is currently Chair of Sociology and Head of the Department of Sociology, Gender & Social Work,  University of Otago. He was Director of the Centre for Sustainability (CSAFE) from 2001 to 2010.

Over the past decade and a half, Hugh?s research has mainly focused on the social dynamics involved in sustainable agriculture. He is one of the research leaders of the Agricultural Research Group on Sustainability (ARGOS) project, a joint venture between the Agribusiness Group, Lincoln University, and the University of Otago.

Hugh has published extensively on the social dynamics of rural New Zealand, food systems and agriculture and has ongoing interests in transdisciplinary work in sustainability ? particularly in terms of insights into sustainability, agriculture and food.

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