Narrowing the food supply-demand gaps between urban and rural areas within a regional space has today become a serious challenge due to the growing urban population. Resultantly, urban markets are increasingly being dominated by industrial food chains, despite their negative socio-environmental impacts. To address this issue, this paper discusses the need and significance of 'Collaborative Food Alliances' (CFAs), which promote the direct supply of food products from rural farmers to urban residents through improved producer-consumer relationships. Based on the literature survey, this study underlines that the current CFAs are confronted with several challenges including the small scale of functioning and limited financing. While the current research on CFAs is focused on theoretical place-based studies, this paper argues that institutionalization of CFAs at a large scale is highly important for enhancing food security in urban areas. It mainly deliberates on two key aspects: (a) The process of institutionalizing CFAs and (b) A feasible financing mechanism to support CFAs. This paper emphasizes that urban local governments have a central role to play in institutionalizing CFAs, either as a lead agency or as a facilitator. It concludes with specific suggestions on three key determinants of multi-stakeholder engagement, financial constraints and policy coordination at a regional level.
ASJC Scopus subject areas