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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…
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.
Efforts to increase sustainability are increasingly being promulgated using non-state forms of governance. Currently, there are multiple multi-stakeholder initiatives…
Efforts to increase sustainability are increasingly being promulgated using non-state forms of governance. Currently, there are multiple multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) working to develop sustainability standards and metrics for US agriculture. These include: LEO-4000, Field to Market, and the Sustainability Consortium. Using Paul Thompson’s (2010) tripartite sustainability framework, the proposed sustainability standards and metrics of the three MSIs are assessed. Our findings indicate that the current political economic stakeholder nexus is producing incremental adjustments to the status quo of industrial agriculture. Put differently, the standards and metrics being produced by these initiatives are largely advancing programs of sustainable intensification in which sustainability is equated with increasing resource efficiencies. Hence, our research problematizes the efficacy of non-state governance approaches for transformative change in food and agriculture. The findings in this chapter are based on fieldwork conducted between 2011 and 2013.
The organizational structure of the modern poultry industry that developed in the US South has been advanced as the future model of agriculture and agro-industrial…
The organizational structure of the modern poultry industry that developed in the US South has been advanced as the future model of agriculture and agro-industrial globalization. This “Southern Model” characterized by asymmetrical power relationships between the integrating firms and production growers and reliance on informal labor patterns in processing is being diffused to other countries. Research on the diffusion of this model deserves special attention from those concerned with the socio-economic implications of the globalization of the agri-food system. This chapter first provides an overview of the industrialization of the poultry industry in the United States, then documents the diffusion of this model globally and in Mexico through the activities of Tyson Foods, Inc. and Pilgrim's Pride, Inc. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the relationship between neoliberal restructuring in Mexico and the globalization of the poultry industry.
Through a categorisation of the convergence/divergence frame of this book into conceptual, organisational and analytical, and following a ‘corporate environmental’ and…
Through a categorisation of the convergence/divergence frame of this book into conceptual, organisational and analytical, and following a ‘corporate environmental’ and ‘corporate food’ regimes theoretical basis, in this chapter we sum up the findings of this collective work and develop some future research needs. The results presented show that at the conceptual level we can outline two different trends regarding alternative agrifood movements and their social transformation potential. In the global South the movements have a more radical/oppositional focus while in the global North the focus is more alternative/progressive. The context in the latter, where the movements are generally consumers leaded and political consumerism plays an important role, is a serious threat for the movements, leading to a loss of the transformative ideal as mainstreaming and conventionalisation occurs. We wonder if it is possible to build a common fighting strategy with a model perspective that allows global North movements to stay radical/oppositional. At the organisational level we conclude that novel tools are required to build common views promoting oppositional strategies. Experiences from the Diálogo de Saberes suggest that this tool built on different principles and values such as horizontalisation, learning, respect or gender perspective, among others, can be useful in this matter. In this regard, further research is needed to look at how alternative agrifood movements deal with gender and whether ecofeminist theories can help in the process of building a common global oppositional strategy. Finally, the analytical level centred in the production system shows that even at this very pragmatic level the food regime applies and that it is the values underlying each production system what defines the options for convergence and divergence.
This paper illustrates the resistance of environmentally concerned groups and citizens against the establishment and growth of corporate-operated confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in the Panhandle region of Texas. We contend that local resistance was partially successful as locally based groups were able to create a contested terrain of political discourse and defend pro-quality of the environment, pro-quality of life and pro-personal property stands against corporate actions. Additionally, we maintain that this success is limited as corporations are powerful. This power is expressed through strategies which present a pro-environment and pro-community based corporate image and are complemented by the corporate capacity to control political processes and economically affect the actions of local communities. The paper concludes with some brief reflections on the primary analytical aspects of the case and avenues which would engender improved social relations in the region.
This chapter combines a global value chain methodology with the case of the development of the farmed Atlantic salmon industry in Chile to inform discussions regarding the…
This chapter combines a global value chain methodology with the case of the development of the farmed Atlantic salmon industry in Chile to inform discussions regarding the globalization of economy and society. The research documents the shifting structure of the value chain from the north to the south as Chile replaced northern Europe as the locus of production and the major world supplier of farmed Atlantic salmon. Farmed salmon was supported by the Chilean state as part of its export-oriented industrialization model that attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) from northern TNCs. Chile's low costs of production combined with growing environmental problems in the north and global retailers' demand for large quantities of low-cost product resulted in the restructuring of the farmed Atlantic-salmon value chain as northern capital sourced the south as a lucrative production platform to service northern consumers. A detailed investigation of the rise in dominance of the firm Marine Harvest is provided to illustrate the process of industry concentration the Chilean farmed-salmon industry. This model has generated a legitimation crisis related to environmental degradation and labor abuses resulting in social movement organization both nationally and internationally. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of the Wal-Mart Effect on the agrifood industry in particular and in the farmed-salmon industry in particular.
At the outset, though, and before brief summaries of each of these cases are presented, it is important to underscore two key points that guide the organization of the entire volume. First, capital mobility is a complex phenomenon that assumes various forms as different types of capitals move at different velocities. Second, capital mobility is a necessary and irreplaceable component of capitalism. As for the first aspect, we will consider three types of capital: financial capital, productive capital, and labor. Obviously, these three forms of capital are endowed with different features that affect their behaviors and their ability to move through time and space. While all these three forms of capital share the common requirement that they need to be utilized in increasingly accelerated manners if capital accumulation had to expand, they also display tendencies that favor financial and productive capital and subordinate labor. If effect, the subordination of labor to financial and productive capital is one of the primary characteristics of globalization and one item that allowed the rapid expansion of capital accumulation over the last two decades.