Abstract In this working paper by Jose Luis Vivero*, the very nature of food as a pure private good is contested and subsequently reversed in order to provide a sound foundation for the transition towards sustainable food systems.The proposal is a re-conceptualisation of food as a common good, a necessary narrative for the redesign of the dominating agro-industrial food system that merely sees food as a tradable commodity. This aspirational transition shall lead us to a more sustainable, fairer and farmer-centred food system.

The idea of the commons is applied to food, deconstructing food as a pure private good and reconstructing it as an impure commons that can be better produced and distributed by a hybrid tri-centric governance system compounded by market rules, public regulations and collective actions.

1. A brief explanatory text can be found in the UN University website
2. The powerpoint on the tricentric mode of governance can be found here


* PhD research fellow at the Catholic University of Louvain,

Contributor Universite Catholique de Louvain
Year Published 2013
Link http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2255447