Coventry University | Paola Guzman

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Paola Guzman

PhD Student

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Research Subject and Interests

  • Financial sustainability of small organic retailers and small scale organic farmers
  • Social and economic impacts of the alternative organic retail sector
  • Growth of the alternative organic retail sector

My project title is 'Assessing the Economic Value, Impact and Scalability of Community-Led Trade Initiatives to Support Sustainable Farming Systems in the UK'.

My research is inspired by the possibility of change. Through my research I hope to sow the seeds of change in the organic retail sector. I hope to inspire those trading in small scale enterprises to embrace and practice participation. I wish for a food system in which farmers, traders and citizens have an open and transparent dialogue about the ways in which their food is grown traded and consumed.

Supervisory Team:

Moya Kneafsey (Director of Studies)
Ulrich Schmutz
Julie Brown


Paola has a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Florida International University and a Masters degree in Urban Design from University College London. For two years she worked in the architecture sector contributing to award winning projects such as South Point Park in South Beach, Florida and The University of Aberdeen Library in Scotland. For five years Paola was part of the Capital Growth project which supported Londoners to create over 2,000 food-growing community gardens in London. Paola co-owned Calabaza Growers for three years, a small scale horticultural business in the edge of London that supplies vegetables to community-led box schemes in London. Paola speaks English, Spanish and French.

Research breakout image

PhD Student

Building: Ryton Gardens