Supply chain partners for local organic food face uncertainties such as poor collaboration and communication that cannot be reduced through the application of traditional supply chain design and management techniques. Such techniques are known to improve supply chain coordination, but they do not adequately consider major aspects of local organic food supply chains such as ethics, sustainability and human values. Supply chain design and management approaches suitable to small-scale, local organic food enterprises are lacking and need to be developed. The aim of this paper is to suggest Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) as a new and suitable approach to design and manage local organic food supply chains. We illustrate how SSM can be used to reduce uncertainties within local organic food supply chains based on a German case. This illustration serves to identify the benefits of using SSM, compared with ad hoc, pragmatic and less structured approaches. The major benefits are of thought, intervention and change, as well as action-oriented, meaningful and participatory decision making.