Worlds apart—Japan’s urban and rural experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader & Norie Tamura, Senior Researcher)

FEAST HQ WG3

For the most part, Japan has been hailed as a COVID-19 success story, although the reasons for the success have been difficult to explain. Despite a severe lack of public testing, Tokyo (the epicenter of the outbreak) saw an increase of only 12% in mortality rate during the height of known infections in April1, the fewest of any Group of Seven nation. A number of theories have emerged as to why this may be (cultural familiarity with social distancing and mask-wearing, healthier elderly population), but it may be some time before a conclusion is reached. Whatever the reasons, the pandemic did bring massive change to everyday life. The entire nation was …

Working towards post-COVID Sustainable Transitions (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ HQ News, Report, Seminar & Workshop

FEAST has been busy during the COVID-19 Pandemic on a variety of research initiatives and events. Some highlights include:-Organizing and managing multiple working groups as part of the Future Earth Knowledge-Action Network on Systems of Sustainable Consumption and Production (FE SSCP KAN) effort on post-COVID Sustainable Transitions. This included: -“Open Forum: COVID-19 Can Help Wealthier Nations Prepare for a Sustainability Transition” (over 300 participants) and virtual “Mini-Conference on COVID-19 and Sustainability Transitions” (over 300 participants). -Multiple online surveys on COVID’s impact on small-scale farmers in Japan, Italy, UK, US, Taiwan, and Latin America and coastal fisheries in Japan. -Joining an international alliance of Degrowth experts in drafting an open letter to offer five principles for …

Call for papers&save the date: 4th APSAFE Symposium -Virtual Conference- Dec 3 to 16, 2020

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Events

The Asia Pacific Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics (APSAFE) is very pleased to announce the dates and theme of the fourth international conference (visit the conference website). We cordially welcome researchers, students, policy makers, community activists, practitioners, and anyone with an interest in the topics. This conference will be a great opportunity to expand your transdisciplinary network and deepen your understanding about a range of interesting research, approaches and initiatives, so join us. The theme of this conference is “Supporting Sustainable Food Systems: Quality Food and Ethical Consumption”. It is a necessary step forward to rethink and reconstruct approaches to agriculture and food production if we hope to make …

Kameoka Nou Marché (Ryo Iwahashi, Project Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Events, From the Field, WG2, WG3

On Nov 3rd, “Kameoka Nou Marché” (Nou stands for agriculture) was organized by the Executive Committee for “Making Kameoka an Organic Town” at KIRI CAFÉ in Kameoka City, Kyoto Pref. with the City of Kameoka, Kameoka Kiri Art Cultivation Executive Committee, Kyoto Organic Action (KOA), RIHN and Akitsu Labo of Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University as the supporters. This all started with WG2 Seminar “Making Kameoka an Organic Town!” on Nov 19th, 2018 which brought together some members from the FEAST Project, Kameoka Kiri Art Cultivation Executive Committee, KOA as well as local farmers, chefs among many others. It led to organizing of this committee, adding some more of …

Apimondia & COLOSS (Maximilian Spiegelberg, Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Report, WG3

From 6th till 12th September FEAST researcher Max Spiegelberg attended the 15th COLOSS Conference along a record 154 participants, and back-to-back the 46th Apimondia International Apicultural Congress with the theme “Beekeeping within Agriculture” in Montreal/Canada. COLOSS (Prevention of Honey Bee Colony LOSSes) is a honeybee focused research network which aims to explain and prevent massive honey bee colony losses with 1,275 members from 95 countries and started out from Europe already 14 years ago. The Apimondia International Apicultural Congress is a global, biennial conference by Apimondia, the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations bringing together this time 6,000 researchers, beekeepers, extension officers, and traders from around the world. During the COLOSS …

International Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture in Nagano: Transitioning to Agroecology (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, Events, Report, WG2, WG3

I have been working closely with members of the Nagano Agriculture and Food Association (NAGANO農と食の会) and Food Policy Council Obuse (OBUSE食と農の未来会議) for almost a year now, discussing ways to envision sustainable food futures and enact food policy toward their realization. One refreshing aspect of working with these groups is that the concept of agroecology widely understood and the need to enact agroecological food systems is a given. However, even though Nagano Prefecture is one of the leading agricultural prefectures in Japan, organic agriculture and agroecology are not widely practiced or recognized. When we learned of the possibility of bringing Miguel Altieri and Clara Nicholls (University of California-Berkeley) to Nagano to …

“International Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture: Voices from Shinshu” in Nagano

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

On June 2nd, 2019, “International Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture: Voices from Shinshu” was held at Kinrou Josei Kaikan Shinanoki in Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture. Following the opening remarks by Mr. Takuei Katsuyama, Director of Nagano-ken Yuki Nougyou Kenkyukai, and a talk by Prof. Steven McGreevy, FEAST Project Leader, “Environmentally and economically sustainable Shinshu: Food and agriculture”, Prof. Miguel Altieri from University of California, Berkeley gave a keynote speech “Why agroecology now?”. He introduced various cases of agroecological practices in Latin America such as application of allelopathy in lieu of plastic mulch. The following panel discussion started off with Ms. Erika Saito’s self-introduction who started organic farming in Matsumoto City after …

Envisioning ideal future school lunches (Steven McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ Events, Report, Seminar & Workshop

On March 24th, 2019 a group of around 50 people of all ages gathered in Obuse Town, Nagano Pref., to envision the ideal school lunch thirty years in the future. The event represented one of the first steps for a new civic food network, the Obuse Food Policy Council (Shoku to Nou no Mirai Kaigi), to develop food policy together. FEAST has been working in Northern Nagano Prefecture for some time and partnered with Obuse Food Policy Council in the development of the event. FEAST also partnered with  the NAGANO Nou to Shoku no Kai NPO (NAGANO農と食の会), the Seikatsu Club Obuse Branch (生活クラブ小布施支部), and the Food Literacy and Experiential Education …

JILA Special Issue “Trends in the landscapes of post-growth societies: The potential of degrowth”

FEAST HQ WG6_Publications

Special Issue “Trends in the landscapes of post-growth societies: The potential of degrowth” of Journal of the Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture (Vol.83-01) was published in March, 2019. “Degrowth” is a political, economic and social movement based on ecological economics, and an economic strategy responding to the limits-to-growth dilemma, and receives attentions as it has an implication for alternative ways that local communities can take. Christoph Rupprecht, FEAST Senior Project Researcher, is on the editorial committee and FEAST contributed with six papers as follows: Impressions from the Sweden and Mexico Degrowth Conference: Norie Tamura, Christoph Rupprecht (in Japanese) Degrowth and Landscape: Christoph Rupprecht (in Japanese) Beyond Public and Private: a …

Report on the 2nd seminar of Food Policy Council, Kamoka 2018: “Making Kameoka an organic town!” (Ryo Iwahashi, Project Research Assistant)

FEAST HQ Report, Seminar & Workshop, WG2

On the 19th of November, the 2nd seminar of “Shokuto Nou no Mirai Kaigi in Kameoka (Food Policy Council, Kamoka) 2018: Making Kameoka an organic town!” was held at Galleria Kameoka, Kyoto. This seminar was composed of two parts: a keynote speech titled “Connecting with the world, connecting in the regions: Experiences in Ichijima Town, Hyogo Prefecture and international trends in organic farming” by Mr. Shinji Hashimoto, an organic farmer in Ichijima Town, Tanba City, Hyogo Pref., followed with Q&A session and the workshop in which the participants talked about their background and presented what they thought was necessary to make Kameoka a town of organic farming. Mr. Hashimoto started …

Presenting Research Outcome on Reevaluation of Peasantry at the 66th General Assembly of the Japanese Association for Rural Studies

FEAST HQ WG3_Publications

Steven McGreevy, FEAST Project Leader, together with Mr. Naoya Matsudaira, our project member, joined “the 66th General Assembly of the Japanese Association for Rural Studies” in Takachiho in Miyazaki Pref. from October 26th to 28th, 2018, at which they had an opportunity to present their research entitled “the international and Japanese trends of reevaluations of peasantry: the similarities and differences”. <Abstract> The United Nations General Assembly 2017 highlighted the importance of family farming, which produces approximately 80% of food on this planet and officially declared “the Decade of Family Farming” from 2019 to 2028. However, whether family farming can survive in the years to come still remains uncertain, and the …

FEAST Project at the World Social Science Forum 2018! (Steven R. McGreevy, Project Leader)

FEAST HQ Conference and Symposium, HQ News, WG1, WG2, WG3

From September 25th to 28th, many of us from FEAST HQ attended the World Social Science Forum 2018 in Fukuoka, held at the Fukuoka International Congress Center. Since RIHN was one of the consortium partners for the Forum, it was important for the institute to have a significant presence at the event. It was also a time to show the potential of the new research programs for integrated, cross-cutting discussions of relevant themes and concepts. We were surprised to learn that all three FEAST session proposals and the Program 3 session proposal were accepted. Indeed, RIHN’s fingerprints were all over the Forum program, with nearly 10 sessions in total. When …

Visiting an Organic Farm in Keihoku, Kyoto (Sittidaj Pongkijvorasin, RIHN Visiting Research Fellow/Chulalongkorn University)

FEAST HQ From the Field, Report

From June 15 to 16, FEAST project researcher (Mai Kobayashi) and I (visiting researcher from Chulalongkorn University) visited an organic farm located in Keihoku district in northern Kyoto. The farm we visited is named “Tagayashi-uta Farm,” which literally means “plowing song farm.” There, I was given a great opportunity to experience working on a small scale family farm in an up-land mountainous village of Japan. As a researcher interested in sustainable upland agriculture economies in Thailand, this visit was particularly significant as I was able to exchange knowledge based on each other’s experiences, and compare the different challenges and strategies seen between Japan and Thailand. Nami and Naoya, the farm …

Kyoto Organic Action: impressions of the project after the "Peasants’ revolution" gathering (Guilherme Raj, Wageningen University)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

“Kyoto Organic Action” (KOA) was created in the beginning of 2017 during a gathering of organic producers in the Nantan area, northwest of Kyoto City. Kentaro Suzuki, owner of the “369 local & organic yaoya” veggie delivery company, organized the event aiming to boost the dynamics and interactions between farmers, distributors and vendors – something that he didn’t see happening when he moved in to Nantan. During the event, the idea of sharing the transportation costs and logistic system of organic products with buyers in Kyoto City led to what is, today, called “Kyoto Organic Action” (KOA): an organization aimed to decrease the distribution costs of agriculture goods produced by …

Model, Prizes, and Leaf litter: Challenges of personality rights (Mai Kobayashi, FEAST Project Researcher)

FEAST HQ Report, WG3

I’d helped him with a reference letter for a scholarship for his studies at the College of Natural Resources (CNR). Sonam Phuntsho was a student of one of our research collaborators at the college. We soon found out that he had received the scholarship and since then, we had kept in touch over facebook messenger. It was one regular work day when Sonam sent me a photograph. It was a lady carrying a pile of leaves to use as bedding for her cattle. I had written a paper on the practice of using a plot of forest for this practice called Sokshing, and he thought I would be interested. It …