University of Vermont

Food Systems Initiative

UVM Food Systems Summit

Call for Papers

Thank you to everyone who submitted abstracts! The submission deadline was February 15, 2014. Submissions are currently under review and authors will be notified by March 31.

The UVM Food Systems Summit is an annual event drawing scholars, practitioners, and food systems leaders to engage in dialogue around the pressing food systems issues facing our world. The 2014 Summit will be held June 17-18, 2014, at the UVM campus in Burlington, VT. The Summit will immediately precede the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) joint annual meeting June 18-22 at the UVM campus. The UVM Food Systems Summit is an independently organized event and may be attended either alone or in combination with the AFHVS/ASFS conference.

The Summit will feature presentations on up to 9 competitively selected papers. Paper presentations will be selected on the basis of peer-reviewed abstracts submitted by interested scholars. Selected papers will be assigned to one of 3 panel sessions by topic.

Scholars whose papers are selected for presentation at the Summit will also be invited to submit their paper to a special issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems and Community Development (JAFSCD). Publication in that journal will be subject to a separate peer-review process. A travel stipend of up to $500 will be offered to Summit presenters who submit their paper to the journal.

The Summit will be structured around 3 panel sessions, each with a 2-3 scholars and 1-2 invited nonacademic presenters (e.g. policy experts and practitioners). The panel sessions will allow time for the presentation of selected papers, as well as Q&A and engaged dialogue with the audience. The Summit will also include 3 invited keynote addresses from leaders recognized as experts in the field of food systems. Unlike traditional academic workshops, the Summit is designed to optimize engagement between scholars and practitioners outside of academia. As such, the Summit will be open to the public and the organizers will actively seek participation from regional nonprofits and government.

Session Themes: The Summit welcomes research papers related to local level responses to globalization in the food system. Research should show a connection between local level initiatives to the global context we face in a 21st century food system. The specific content of each panel session will be determined on the range of papers selected for presentation. Potential session (and paper) topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Geopolitical context: Food sovereignty from a local and global perspective. Who should own and control the food system? How does current policy and trade affect local outcomes? What research and policy initiatives do we need? For example:
    • Economics and Geography—food distribution and access
    • Justice Issues—migrant labor; wages; access to land/capital; fair trade initiatives
  • Biophysical constraints: How much additional food capacity do we really need and where? How much land base do we need to feed the world’s population if we produced our food ecologically and were able to reduce wasted food? What assumptions or adjustments do we need to make about diet and nutrition to do so? Can you be ecologically, economically, hydrologically, and energetically sound and intensive? What research and policy initiatives do we need? For example:
    • Environment—inputs/impact (e.g. GMOs, organic production, runoff), energy; climate and resilience (drought and floods); use of water resources
    • Trade-offs—food versus biofuels; value-added versus food security; scale of solutions
    • Food safety—GAP (good agricultural practice) and FSMA (Farm Safety Modernization Act) implications for small and medium producers; food borne illness implications (e.g. raw milk, produce, eggs, meat); antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Behavior and culture: What do we know about the human ability to change our behavior, to proactively adapt? How do cultural values influence food practice? How do these considerations affect the questions above? What research and policy initiatives do we need? For example:
    • Consumer Behavior—choice, information, attitudes
    • Producer Behavior—production choice—costs/welfare (e.g. migrant labor issues, “intern labor,” health insurance) from inputs to disposal (compost); land use issues
    • Farm to Institution—implementation, evaluation, impact, and policy
    • Healthy Food for the People—independent retailers, consumers, and policy makers working together to increase access to fresh food
    • Community development—food hubs, economic/community impact, farm to school/institution; newer models (e.g. food boxes)
    • Likely/Unlikely Partnerships—working across divides (e.g. organic and local produce in national chains)

Summit submission process: Authors wishing to have a paper considered for the UVM Food Systems Summit should submit an extended abstract by February 15, 2014. Abstracts should be submitted via email to Jane Kolodinsky at The abstract file (MS Word or PDF) should contain the following information:

  • Cover page with:
    • Title of paper
    • Name, address, e-mail address, and phone number of paper presenter or primary contact
    • Name and institutional affiliation of paper presenter and co-author(s)
    • 4-6 keywords
  • Separate page with:
    • Title of paper
    • Extended abstract (1500 words maximum; title and any references cited are in addition to this word limit)

Abstracts that do not comply with these guidelines will be returned without review. Electronic acknowledgments of submissions will be sent to all submitters. Abstracts will be reviewed by the Summit Paper Review Committee, comprising UVM faculty and chaired by UVM Professor Emeritus John Bramley. Papers will be considered in terms of their significance to the field, strength of methodology/design, and clarity of writing. Authors will be notified of the status of their abstract by March 31, 2014. Full papers must be received from notified authors by June 1, 2014.

Journal submission process: Papers selected for presentation at the Summit must be submitted by September 1, 2014, to be considered for peer review in the special issue of Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD). Upon receipt of submission to the journal, the author will be reimbursed up to $500 for travel expenses for the Summit.

Last modified July 07 2014 03:07 PM