This report, written in partnership with Oxfam, describes research into links between community food projects in the North and South of the globe. It considers the benefits of sharing knowledge, since people in poverty are often dealing with similar barriers to food security, no matter where they live. Using case studies, the report suggests that establishing links could provide an as yet untapped and innovative solution to some of the problems caused by increasing globalisation.


Food with Latitude: A report exploring food project links across the North-South divideThis report, written in partnership with Oxfam, describes research into links between community food projects in the North and South of the globe.

In 1998 Sustain’s Food Poverty Project Officer visited a number of inspiring community projects in El Salvador in Central America. She was struck by the realisation that projects in rich, Northern hemisphere countries, and in poorer, Southern hemisphere countries were dealing with some very similar barriers to food security and social exclusion, and often in similar ways.

Back in the UK, Sustain's Food Poverty project resolved to look more closely at the potential benefits (and limitations) of projects in the North and South being linked more closely, and worked with the global development charity Oxfam to do so. This report is the culmination of those initial thoughts and more detailed research into community food projects in both the North and South of the globe.

The report is timely, as the negative effects of increasing world trade are felt more acutely in ever more remote parts of the world. At the same time, it considers how best to harness the positive aspects of an increasingly ‘small world’ by bringing community foods projects from northern and southern countries together to share experiences and learning. It also considers how best to spread good practice and encourage more structured approaches that might make the benefits of these projects more sustainable in the longer term.

The 103pp report contains numerous examples of community groups developing innovative, imaginative, sustainable and workable food projects that improve the lives and environment of their local communities. The community food projects involved in this research were keen to see a project develop that could support links between community food initiatives in different areas of the world, delivering real benefits for their own projects and for others yet to be unearthed. In light of increasing dissatisfaction and community disempowerment, and the clear inability of the world trade system to cope with poverty, food insecurity and social exclusion, this report demonstrates a source of knowledge and human experience from which communities, governments and policy actors in both Northern and Southern countries can learn. 

Report contents


Why this study?

Food poverty in the North and South

  • Counting the costs
  • Contributing factors

Finding solutions to food poverty and insecurity

  • National and international policies
  • Local food action

Positive results

  • Access to food
  • Nutrition
  • Benefits for participants
  • Benefits for the community
  • Larger-scale effects

Overcoming barriers

  • Funding and staffing
  • Structural difficulties
  • Environmental and other difficulties

Common themes in the North and South

North-South links

  • A brief history of North-South links
    • Link Case Study A: Partnership in School Linking, Preston -Nairobi, Kenya
  • Who benefits from project links?
    • Link Case Study B: Prison garden links, Leyhill - Bulaweyo, Zimbabwe
    • Link Case Study C: Sharing information with many Southern partners, Devon
    • Link Case Study D: Women farmers in Lincolnshire and Burkina Faso
  • Linking community food projects - the reality
    • Link Case Study E: Cambridge Allotment Network and Wedie Village, Mali
    • Link Case Study F: Food For Thought, Devon - Mubende, Uganda
    • Link Case Study G: Local food networks, Luton - Pakistan
  • Reflections
    • Link Case Study H: Rural links in Europe and India

Facilitating links

  • How to support North-South links?
  • A linking programme for community food projects


  • Glossary
  • Methodolgy


Food With Latitude: A report exploring food project links across the North-South divide
103pp - 2002 | 324Kb


Published 1 Jan 2002

Food Access Network: The Food Access Network (FAN-UK) was formerly the Food Poverty project, and is now superseded by the Local Action on Food Network. These archive pages give background information on the activities of FAN-UK, which worked to tackle diet-related ill health amongst the UKs most disadvantaged communities.

103pp - 2002


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