Create your own alternative food network

What does “alternative food network” mean and how is it actually possible to create one in your context? Can we have an active role in this? Can we change the situation around us? Can we influence the transformation towards a more sustainable future? But especially: how and what are the steps to do so?

Alternative food networks have been emerging since the 90ies, provoked through standardization, globalization, and the unethical nature of the industrial food system. They question and counteract the moral and ethical values of the predominant food network and economy. Food procurement is a basic need of humans that binds with multiple social, ecological, and economic implications. A lot of food products we buy in the supermarket have a role in environmental damages, climate change, and human rights abuses. Customers are left with the burden of structuring their own buying behavior to counteract these global grievances. But the choices they have when buying products are neither entirely sustainable nor transparent regarding their supply chain. Moreover, many Alternatives to the normative Food System lack attributes like affordability, convenience, and accessibility of products and processes. 

We would like to take you through our journey towards the creation of Lokall, sharing our experience and the magic rules we found fundamental in order to get started. 

What you need is a huge dose of motivated people, few spoons of engagement, and liters of commitment. The result? Well, it really depends on your context and needs! Let’s figure it out together!

What is Lokall and how it came to be?

Which steps are necessary to create an AFN?

How to adapt/transform/change Lokall in your own context?


We are Marla Nichele and Angelica Cianflone. We work together on the development of the project Lokall, nowadays in collaboration also with Vittoria Brolis and Beatrice Fusari.

We are two socially and politically engaged designers, currently working together at La Foresta, with the association Brave New Alps (Rovereto).  We are two graduated students from the Master in Eco-Social Design.  We have backgrounds in Visual and Graphic Communication, Industrial Product Design, Interaction Design, and Service Design, with a multidisciplinary approach. We both have the desire to help the transition to more sustainable practices in communities. 

We value solidarity and mutual support.  We believe in bottom-up initiatives, where an individual’s actions can have a collective impact. 

3 recommended readings or other media
  1. Kiss the ground (2020), a documentary movie by Joshua Tickell, Rebecca Harrell Tickell.
  2. Il Grande Carrello – chi decide cosa mangiamo (2019), a book by Fabio Ciconte, Stefano Liberti.
  3. Food Coop (2016), a documentary movie by Thomas Boothe, Maellanne Bonnicel.