Eating at the limits: barriers to the emergence of social enterprise initiatives in the Australian emergency food relief sector
Wills, B, Eating at the limits: barriers to the emergence of social enterprise initiatives in the Australian emergency food relief sector, Food Policy, 70 pp. 62-70. ISSN 0306-9192 (2017) [Refereed Article]
This article explores the absence of social enterprise responses to food insecurity in Australia. Continued growth in demand from chronically food insecure consumers and criticism of the dominant food bank model of gifted food support has led to the development of ‘community supermarkets’ that charge consumers for donated food in countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, but not in Australia. This research investigates barriers to the development of community supermarkets in Australia through in-depth interviews with senior staff within seven organizations involved in the food relief supply chain, as well as a pilot survey of 38 food insecure consumers. The results of this research are analyzed through the lens of ‘voluntary failure’ theory and highlight systemic barriers to the reach of social enterprise as a mechanism for addressing food insecurity.
food insecurity, social enterprise, business models, voluntary failure, food banks, social entrepreneurship