Sustainable consumption, the middle classes and agri-food ethics in the Global South

Context

Expanding middle class consumption in the Global South and the accompanying economic growth is seen to be a potential threat to environmental sustainability. The UN's Sustainable Development Goal 12 (Ensure Sustainable Consumption and Production) recognises the need to support developing countries in strengthening their technological capacity to enable more sustainable patterns of consumption, to promote sustainable public procurement practices, and to ensure that consumers have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable lifestyles.

Aims and objectives

This projects aims to:
  1. Examine the current and potential roles of consumption in the Global South in addressing major global sustainability challenges in the food sector
  2. Provide an original assessment of the institutional and cultural levers for change that are shaping different forms of sustainable food consumption
  3. Advance current research by conducting systematic cross-country comparisons, investigating the interconnectedness of online and offline spaces of sustainable consumption in Global South contexts, and evaluating the potential of digital technologies to generate more sustainable consumption patterns
  4. Influence future policy and strategy by targeting recommendations to organisations responsible for regulating, managing and promoting food sustainability

This research is essential to understand how sustainable food consumption is mobilised and practised in distinct Global South contexts, how this might be affected during times of increasing political instability and social precarity, and how this relates to the wider context of global population growth and globalizing consumerism.

Principle investigator

  • Dr Alex Hughes (Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University)

Co-investigators

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

  • Geography, politics and sociology, Newcastle University
  • Geography, Durham University
  • Siid & Sociological studies, University of Sheffield
  • School of tourism management, Sun Yat-Sen University
  • Environmental and geographical sciences, University of Cape Town
  • COPPE, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro