Civic engagement in the construction of alternative food supplies: the case of Montreal

Research Projects


The development of alternative food systems illustrates the social and environmental transition happening in the food sector. These systems collectively develop more sustainable economies and food supply chains, meaning they are “economically viable, socially sustainable and ecologically responsible”. This is the case in Montreal, where short-circuit initiatives coordinate through a network covering different territorial levels. These initiatives are breeding grounds for the emergence of social innovation and new forms of organizations and practices (Seyfang, 2006). In fact, these initiatives favour a more active version of political consumption by favouring food citizenship practices that feed, in exchange, the alternative food network in different ways. Given that the practices associated with food citizenship contribute to directing food economies towards principles of justice, sustainability and equity, the role of these practices in the conciliation between food accessibility and environmentally-friendly food systems deserve to be studied. What food citizenship practices exist in Montreal? What relationships exist between these practices and the social and environmental transition? In order to answer these questions, we are looking at the dynamic relationship between food citizenship and short-circuit supply chains. First of all, we hope to better understand how food citizenship manifests itself in people’s lives through individual and collective actions towards the implementation of short-circuits. Second of all, we hope to understand the participation of food citizenship in the social and environmental transformations taking place in Montreal’s food system.

Affiliated Hub(s): Québec

Research Axis: Philanthropy and Social Justice

Project supervisor: René Audet

Partner(s): Système alimentaire montréalais (SAM)

Team member(s): Eliane Brisebois, Katia Scherer

Student researcher(s): 

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Les fondations face à l’ODD 2 « Faim ‘Zéro’ » à Montréal : une forme de citoyenneté alimentaire ?