Agroecological symbiosis (AES) is a model for a generic arrangement for the food system that aims to achieve systems-level sustainability. This model addresses the primary production of food by integrating food production, food processing, and energy production. In addition, the AES model supports the on-the-ground development of a food community through the implementation of human-scale food production and processing. A food system premised on AES has the following goals:
- To practice farming and food processing based on renewable bioenergy
- To close nutrient cycles
- To break away from the consolidated food chain
- To be more transparent and connected with consumers
- To revitalize the rural spaces
The AES concept originated as part of a co-creative process focused on redesigning organic food production in Palopuro village, Finland. The parties to the initial development were farmers, other local-level actors in the food system, and researchers from the University of Helsinki and the Natural Resource Institute Finland (LUKE) (read more about this project here).