Governing Complex Food Systems

Image by Clint Adair on Unsplash

This is an exciting time for food law and policy in Atlantic Canada. Not only are new local and regional food plans and legal reforms emerging, but the range of actors (governments, civil society organizations, community groups, and firms) working together to design and implement these changes is growing.

As a result, this is also a complex and sometimes confusing time for food law and policy. One set of reforms on an issue or in one part of the food system can have unintended consequences for other parts of that system and at different scales. Tracking who has the (formal and informal) power to make decisions is more difficult than ever. And while the work of lawyers and legal researchers often focuses on questions of legal authority and jurisdiction, we’ve conventionally lacked the tools to draw connections in complex systems.

Jamie Baxter
Jamie Baxter
Associate Professor