Call for papers: ‘Critical reflections on the changing landscapes of food waste’

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, 28-31 August 2018, Cardiff, UK.

Sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group (FGWG)

Session convenors: Dr Jane Midgley (School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape, Newcastle University) and Dr Joanne Swaffield (School of Geography, Politics & Sociology, Newcastle University)

There is an emerging consensus on the severity of food waste as a global problem and the necessity for change. The values that are espoused in preventing and reducing food waste (economic, environmental, social, moral) have become encapsulated by the creation of a global food loss and waste accounting standard; pledges by the food industry to reduce the amount of food going to waste; growing regulatory requirements, and wider industry and civil society initiatives supporting the redistribution of surplus food to those who are hungry.

This session seeks to critically explore these responses, their inherent tensions and make visible the diversity of practices that are collectively driving changes in local and global food waste landscapes. We welcome both empirical and theoretically informed papers that engage with one or more of the following:

  • The discursive constructions of food waste and how this informs the material’s governance – recognising both policy and political landscapes of action and activism
  • How the shifting categorisations of food as it transitions towards waste inform how actors align with or challenge these terms and values e.g. the articulation of food ‘rescue’, ‘interception’ or ‘surplus redistribution’
  • The importance of accounting and accountability in mobilising actions.

Please send abstracts of up to 250 words, along with your paper title, author affiliation and contact details to both Jane Midgley ( and Jo Swaffield ( by Friday 9th February 2018. 

Full details on the RGS-IBG AC 2018 conference can be found here and information about the RGS-IBG FGWG can be found here.



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