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Book part

Amy Jonason

As a movement for alternative means of food production and consumption has grown, so, too, have civic efforts to make alternative food accessible to low-income persons…

Abstract

Purpose

As a movement for alternative means of food production and consumption has grown, so, too, have civic efforts to make alternative food accessible to low-income persons (LIPs). This article examines the impact of alternative food institutions (AFIs) on low-income communities in the United States and Canada, focusing on research published since 2008.

Methodology/approach

Through a three-stage literature search, I created a database of 110 articles that make empirical or theoretical contributions to scholarly knowledge on the relationship of AFIs to low-income communities in North America. I used an in vivo coding scheme to categorize the impacts that AFIs have on LIPs and to identify predominant barriers to LIPs’ engagement with AFIs.

Findings

The impacts of AFIs span seven outcome categories: food consumption, food access and security, food skills, economic, other health, civic, and neighborhood. Economic, social and cultural barriers impede LIPs’ engagement with AFIs. AFIs can promote positive health outcomes for low-income persons when they meet criteria for affordability, convenience and inclusivity.

Implications

This review exposes productive avenues of dialogue between health scholars and medical sociology and geography/environmental sociology. Health scholarship offers empirical support for consumer-focused solutions. Conversely, by constructively critiquing the neoliberal underpinnings of AFIs’ discourse and structure, geographers and sociologists supply health scholars with a language that may enable more systemic interventions.

Originality/value

This article is the first to synthesize research on five categories of alternative food institutions (farmers’ markets, CSAs, community gardens, urban farms, and food cooperatives) across disciplinary boundaries.

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Details

Food Systems and Health
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-092-3

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Article

Neeraj Dangi and Sapna A. Narula

This paper explores the contextual relevance of sharing economy for the organic food market in an emerging economy like India.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the contextual relevance of sharing economy for the organic food market in an emerging economy like India.

Design/methodology/approach

Case study approach was used to collect empirical data from different types of organic food markets.

Findings

Organic food farmers markets compared to online and health food stores tends to facilitate sharing economy more since it helps them to build value, scale and trust. By sharing resources, skills and spaces, organic farmers markets have increased organic food availability, reduced its cost of certification and operation besides managing consumer trust. Subjective influence through social media and offline interaction reduces information asymmetry at zero marginal cost. Organic food producers/retailers can get a competitive advantage by tapping underutilized assets to create value and opportunities besides overcoming their demand and supply constraints.

Originality/value

The research offers a fresh perspective to the organic food sector, particularly in emerging economies like India. It could assist all stakeholders to overcome the current demand and supply challenges faced in organic food markets.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Book part

John Drew, Aaron Dickinson Sachs, Cecilia Sueiro and John R. Stepp

This chapter examines the increase in global demand for quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) and considers the impact of such demand on the Peruvian and Bolivian farmers who…

Abstract

This chapter examines the increase in global demand for quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa Willd.) and considers the impact of such demand on the Peruvian and Bolivian farmers who produce it. Specifically, it analyzes the social media marketing of U.S. based I Heart Keenwah (IHK) and considers the role of “storied food” with respect to corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting in a Web 2.0 context. This chapter reports the results of textual, rhetorical, and cultural analyses of the digital marketing materials IHK deploys, and considers IHK’s use of Web 2.0 tools to mobilize discourses of socially responsible marketing, and implications of industrial quinoa production on Andean biodiversity and indigenous culture. This chapter principally concludes that the social media and digital marketing materials that IHK deploys obfuscate the social, economic, and ecological complexities surrounding the quinoa industries in Peru and Bolivia. This chapter provides evidence of new tendencies in capitalist commodification, and demonstrates how the traditional and indigenous protectors of the quinoa plant species are being denied their agricultural and cultural heritages. Further more, it demonstrates how the language of corporate social responsibility is abused in the service of less sustainable, branded, and extractive imaginaries and corporate profit. Given the significant rise in international quinoa demand, IHK’s explosive economic success, and IHK’s reliance on Andean quinoa, this case study provides unique insights into global food capitalism in the age of social media.

Details

Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-411-8

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Book part

Sara Shostak and Norris Guscott

This paper describes how community gardens generate social capital, and with what potential implications for the health of gardeners and their communities.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper describes how community gardens generate social capital, and with what potential implications for the health of gardeners and their communities.

Methodology/approach

This analysis draws on data from focus groups with gardeners from four community gardening programs, two each in Boston and Lynn, MA. The participants represent a diverse sample of community gardeners (n=32).

Findings

We identify four mechanisms through which community gardening increases social capital, with implications for individual and community health: (1) building social networks; (2) providing opportunities for resource sharing and social support; (3) preserving cultural knowledge and practice in diaspora; and (4) reflecting and reinforcing collective efficacy. We also describe gardeners’ perspectives on gardening itself as a political activity.

Originality/value

While much of the literature on social capital and health in community gardens comes from in-depth studies of single, relatively homogenous gardens, this analysis draws on data from focus group interviews with a diverse group of participants who garden in varied neighborhood settings. In contrast to studies that have suggested that the social capital generated in community gardens does not extend beyond the group of individuals actively involved in gardening, our study identifies multiple community level benefits. Consequently, this paper lends support to recent calls to consider community gardening as strategy for amplifying community assets in support of public health.

Details

Food Systems and Health
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-092-3

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Article

Andrew J. Murphy

This paper aims to report results from an exploratory study of farmers' markets, taking particular interest in the motives for participation of customers, and their…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report results from an exploratory study of farmers' markets, taking particular interest in the motives for participation of customers, and their perceptions of the functioning of markets as co‐created sites of local food production, retail and consumption. Customer perceptions are also compared between farmers' markets and supermarkets.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were completed by 252 customers at 11 farmers' markets around New Zealand in 2008‐2009. Customers rated the importance of 31 constructs that might influence their involvement. For comparison, 257 supermarket shoppers in Auckland completed a similar questionnaire. Student t‐tests are used to distinguish between samples and subsample groups.

Findings

The paper finds that product quality is the key motivator for patronage, with price not a significant barrier to purchase or visits to farmers' markets. The “retail environment” has only a modest influence on market customer choices, and markets are only partially co‐created, with customers not highly valuing interaction with producers. Customers rated price, location and store environment constructs to be much more important at supermarkets than at markets.

Originality/value

Farmers' markets have experienced recent rapid growth and diffusion in many parts of the world, including Australasia, becoming popular sites of small retail trade and local cultural exchange. This paper contributes to the understanding of what motivates customers to participate in them, and what distinguishes markets from other food retailing sites such as supermarkets, at least in the New Zealand context.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 39 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Documents from the History of Economic Thought
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1423-2

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Book part

Patrick H. Mooney, Keiko Tanaka and Gabriele Ciciurkaite

This chapter seeks to address questions related to the convergence among alternative agrifood movements as well as the convergence between alternative and conventional…

Abstract

This chapter seeks to address questions related to the convergence among alternative agrifood movements as well as the convergence between alternative and conventional practices with a focus on local movements. We reconstruct the common conflation of the alternative/conventional binary into a multidimensional measure that recognizes the complex interactions of economic, political, social, and cultural elements in the construction of convention, alterity, and opposition. We also consider several forms of possible convergence: multi-organizational, multi-sectoral (among elements of the agrifood system), multidimensional (among political, economic, cultural, and social practices), and multilevel or scale (hierarchy of spatially embedded governance units). These matters are empirically examined by focusing on the rapidly growing Food Policy Council (FPC) movement in North America. We address the question of this movement’s diffusion, consider its variable linkages between state and civil society, and examine the substantive practices and framings in which the movement has been engaged. While we find that most FPC practices are probably vulnerable to conventionalization, the movement’s most valuable function may be its modular form. That form functions as an incubator of multi-organizational and multi-sectoral experimental practices in a multiplicity of local environments. Further, ties between FPCs provide a networking mechanism for transmitting information about the successes and failures of those experiments among hundreds of locales and regions. Finally, the discourse among the FPC leadership amplifies values favoring the democratization of food, and articulates beliefs in the right to food as well as notions of food citizenship and sovereignty.

Details

Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

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Book part

Douglas H. Constance, William H. Friedland, Marie-Christine Renard and Marta G. Rivera-Ferre

This introduction provides an overview of the discourse on alternative agrifood movements (AAMs) to (1) ascertain the degree of convergence and divergence around a common…

Abstract

This introduction provides an overview of the discourse on alternative agrifood movements (AAMs) to (1) ascertain the degree of convergence and divergence around a common ethos of alterity and (2) context the chapters of the book. AAMs have increased in recent years in response to the growing legitimation crisis of the conventional agrifood system. Some agrifood researchers argue that AAMs represent the vanguard movement of our time, a formidable counter movement to global capitalism. Other authors note a pattern of blunting of the transformative qualities of AAMs due to conventionalization and mainstreaming in the market. The literature on AAMs is organized following a Four Questions in Agrifood Studies (Constance, 2008) framework. The section for each Question ends with a case study to better illustrate the historical dynamics of an AAM. The literature review ends with a summary of the discourse applied to the research question of the book: Are AAMs the vanguard social movement of our time? The last section of this introduction provides a short description of each contributing chapter of the book, which is divided into five sections: Introduction; Theoretical and Conceptual Framings; Food Sovereignty Movements; Alternative Movements in the Global North; and Conclusions.

Details

Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

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Article

Gill Seyfang

Sustainable consumption is increasingly on the policy menu, and local organic food has been widely advocated as a practical tool to make changes to conventional production…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable consumption is increasingly on the policy menu, and local organic food has been widely advocated as a practical tool to make changes to conventional production and consumption systems. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of community‐based initiatives at achieving sustainable consumption objectives.

Design/methodology/approach

A new multi‐criteria evaluation tool is developed, from New Economics theory, to assess the effectiveness of initiatives at achieving sustainable consumption. The key indicators are: localisation, reducing ecological footprints, community building, collective action and creating new socio‐economic institutions. This evaluation framework is applied to an organic producer cooperative in Norfolk, UK, using a mixed‐method approach comprising site visits, semi‐structured interviews and a customer survey.

Findings

The initiative was effective at achieving sustainable consumption in each of the dimensions of the appraisal tool, but nevertheless faced a number of barriers to achieving its potential.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could examine the sustainability preferences of non‐consumers of local or organic food, to compare responses and assess the scope for scaling up initiatives like this.

Practical implications

Ways forward for community‐based sustainable consumption are discussed, together with policy recommendations. Community‐based initiatives such as the local organic food network examined here should be supported to offer a diversity of local action.

Originality/value

This paper presents the first empirical evaluation of a local organic food network as a tool for sustainable consumption. It makes a timely and original contribution on environmental governance and the role of new institutions which enable consumers to change their consumption patterns. It is of interest to academics, practitioners and policymakers concerned with sustainable development.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 27 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

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