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The unglamorous leek is an everyday foodstuff in a British supermarket, but its meaning is constructed through the interplay of a range of non-human materialities…
The unglamorous leek is an everyday foodstuff in a British supermarket, but its meaning is constructed through the interplay of a range of non-human materialities including the plant, its packaging and its information dense labels. This chapter examines the variations in the ways in which leeks are marketed in different supermarkets, with a particular focus on how they can be traced back to their roots in British fields. We examine the ways in which non-human and virtual entities ‘bring to life’ the human producers of the leeks in a bid to mimic the reconnection that is sought through local food systems. We use the example of the leeks to explore what is happening to food supply chains, urban-rural connections and rural representations as farmers and retailers build new modes of working and as social media tools open up virtual access to the people growing our food.
– The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the ability of the Chinese geographical indications (GI) system to offer extra guarantees on food safety.
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the ability of the Chinese geographical indications (GI) system to offer extra guarantees on food safety.
Based on a network approach, the research includes a literature review and takes a sample of GI products in Jiangxi Province as a means of exploring the ability of the GI system to enhance food safety in China.
The safety level of Chinese GI food products is not automatically ensured by GI schemes alone. The Chinese Government appears to be using GI labels more as a promotional tool to enhance farmers’ incomes rather than as a means of reducing safety concerns and is thus missing an opportunity to enhance food safety in tandem with adding value.
This research is of academic value and of value to policy makers. The results suggest an urgent need to encourage producers to attend GI management programmes, to generate appropriate GI standards, to be actively involved in GI issuing processes, and thus to provide “safe” GI products. Meanwhile, with weak government enforcement, there is also a need to build an effective food safety regulatory system to ensure food safety and protect consumers’ rights.