Transition to agri-food sustainability, assessing accelerators and triggers for transformation: Case study in Valencia, Spain

Nancy Sarabia, Jordi Peris, Sergio Segura
Journal of Cleaner Production

The agri-food regime faces urgent structural and ethical challenges to advance towards sustainability; therefore, the search for triggers, accelerators and supports for sustainability transition is of outstanding scientific and social interest. Valencia's agri-food system is challenging the status quo with creative initiatives, self-organisation and a transformative process in agri-food policy, including local food governance and agroecological transition. Through interpretative research combining qualitative methods, this analysis assesses accelerators and reveals the triggers of this process of change in Valencia's agri-food system. The study uses the Urban Transformative Capacity Framework (UTCF), which has been empirically applied to the agri-food system for the first time, in order to understand its scope and limitations. The case study was contextualised with the Multi-Level Perspective (MLP), which provided temporality and a larger scale view. The merging of frameworks revealed specific triggers and dynamics of the pre-development of capacities for transition, involving different actors and levels, in which empowered social movements and their informal governance spaces play a key role. The ultimate purpose of this study is to contribute to local agri-food transition processes, along with focusing priorities for action, actively involving research in the process.