Concentrated economic and political power within dominant export-oriented food supply chains is both a cause and an effect of today’s unsustainable food and agricultural system. There is growing awareness that improved rural–urban linkages are an essential element in the necessary transition towards more sustainable and resilient food systems. Rural–urban linkages connect people in cities with people in the countryside on a daily basis. The links are tangible and include markets, migration flows, knowledge exchange, leisure and tourism, ecosystem services, food production and consumption.
Enhancing people’s control over their food through markets based on new rural-urban linkages, extends the role of farmers to embrace on- farm processing, direct selling and the redesign of production processes. This involves policy and initiatives that build and strengthen short and local supply chains based on trust and where the role of citizens shifts from consumers to co-producers.