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Regulating the farmers' market: Paysan expertise, Quality production and local food

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Abstract

This paper considers the meaning of local, quality food in the context of a farmer’s market in Montpellier, France. The focus is on understanding how farmers conceptualize ‘local’, how they perceive and cater to their clients’ demand for quality food, and what mechanisms are deployed to ensure a joint approach to these conventions. With a market association capable of carrying out site inspections to weed out ‘fake-farmers’ and an expectation that each vendor would participate in staged demonstrations of agrarian competency, the market emerges as an exclusive and tightly regulated commercial space that promotes both local protectionism and alternative consumption practices.

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... In this sense, in France and the Basque Country, consumers' interest in local markets is related to the "authenticity" of farmers who have produced and elaborated the products sold in the market. For market vendors of the "Marché Paysan d'Antigone", being a local farmer is a sign of experience and quality, which differs from "resellers" or "commercial sellers" (Tchoukaleyska, 2011). In the case of Ordizia's market, local farmers ("baserritarrak") are also acknowledged and "their own conception within the local culture makes them a safeguard of the common features of the community" (Aboitz et al., 2014, pp. ...
... Coinciding with the significant relationships also identified by Purslow (2000), Winter (2003), Hunt (2007) and Carey et al. (2010), are those consumers who see the purchase of local products as a way of relocalizing the economy and of supporting the local primary sector, and/or promoting sustainable agriculture. These reasons expressed by consumers suggest the need to revalue these spaces as places where the "authenticity" of being a producer more important, as proposed by Holloway and Kneafsey (2000), Tchoukaleyska (2011) and Aboitz et al. (2014). ...
Article
The embeddedness between producers and consumers has been one of the factors that have ensured the survival of farmers' markets (FM) as one of the main Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC) for agricultural producers. Although changes in the agri-food system in recent decades significantly reduced their position in the supply chain, farmers' markets have recently regained their appeal as a marketing channel within Alternative Food Networks (AFN). These networks value “buy local” and/or food “quality” as variables that help to build a relationship of mutual trust. The main aim of this research is to analyze the factors that encourage this relationship between producers and consumers involved in local markets. For this, an assessment of the social dimension of ten FMs in the province of Gipuzkoa (Basque Country, Spain) is carried out. Through a Cluster Analysis, we study what motivations producers and consumers have for attending markets, and how these motivations influence the way in which they participate in FMs. The results of the research show how this explanatory factor of embeddedness depends on certain personal characteristics that define the way in which producers and consumers participate in FMs. In addition, the conclusions highlight the need to develop governance models in these marketing channels in order to ensure the legitimacy and viability of these initiatives. This implies setting challenges for managers and policymakers, as well as looking at future lines of research linked to the role of markets in AFNs.
... As the researchers had focused mainly on consumers, there is a lack of systematic information regarding the proportion of farmers compared to other type of sellers-under such conditions, should these markets should still be considered farmers' markets? One of the main reasons for the reduced participation of farmers might be the seasonality and availability of local fruits and vegetables, allowing the participation of food processors, some of them being both processors and farmers, as a strategy for income diversification [38]. ...
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Farmers’ markets aim to bring producers and consumers together under direct marketing schemes, also known as alternative food networks, for local and sustainable production and consumption of food. A number of studies concerning this subject have been published, however, as yet no updated reviews exist that might allow us to understand the trends in research on farmers’ markets. The objective of this study was to examine the farmers’ market literature using bibliometric tools. A total of 438 peer-reviewed publications, indexed in the abstract and citation meta-database Scopus (Elsevier®), for the period of 1979 to September 24, 2018, were considered. In the second phase, publications in the area of medicine were excluded, resulting in 295 publications being analyzed for the same period. The results showed that these publications focused on three main areas: markets, health programs, and food safety. Upon exclusion of the medical publications, the remaining works focused on farmers’ market actors, dynamics, and attributes: vendors (producers and others), consumers, the community, and supporting actors and institutions (government, NGOs, individuals). Therefore, it is concluded that there is no single type of farmers’ market, nor of farmers’ market vendors or consumers. This makes the reproduction of such spaces difficult, especially when the goals are to benefit local production systems or the nutrition of the local community.
... Patrimony comes from place and other attachments connecting identities to specific foods and agricultural practices, such as foie gras' connection to a nationalist identity in France [27]. This leads to product distinction based on origin, geographic indicators, and special ecological quality as regulated by the AAFN [28][29][30]. Consumer interest in the sustainable consumption of fresh, non-industrial food works to directly link rural producers to urban centers in socioeconomic relationships, while also increasing socioecological resilience by reducing carbon emissions produced by intensive agricultural practices incentivized by neoliberal globalization in the conventional food system [31][32][33][34][35]. As such, SFC play a role in reconfiguring cultural patrimony and urban life to be more green through leveraging local relationships of trust, empathy, and altruism to increase the dynamic ties between producers and consumers. ...
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Presently, alternative agri-food networks are in a renaissance, utilizing an economy of proximity to compete against transnational agri-business and food distributors. While this is positive ecologically and socioeconomically, the overreliance on market mechanisms in short food chains has led to class distinctions in food distribution and consumption. The result has been a capitalist consumer paradox exacerbating inequality in the alternative agri-food networks. To resolve this inequality, we focused on how public policy can leverage state investment in public markets to reduce or overcome the capitalist consumer paradox in short food chains. To clarify our argument, we began by examining the benefits of short food chains in the urban food system. Then, we explained how type of consumption and policy regime effect food access. After this, we utilized Mexico City and New York City’s public market systems as representative of an alternative policy regime and the effects of moving away from state-oriented development. We concluded by describing possible conflicts and complements to the integration of public markets into short urban food chains.
... Space and identity are intimately intertwined through the relational practices of those who collect, organize, and distribute foraged food across a complex urban landscape. Tchoukaleyska (2013: 218) finds similar results in a study of a Marché Paysan d'Antigone market in Montpellier, France, where 'the performance of a paysan identity is central to the production of quality foods and is a key component of the daily life of the market, with vendors asserting their position as agrarian experts . . . [and] as unique custodians of terroir heritage'. ...
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This review discusses the social geographies of food, focusing on how social geographic research has been taken up in and influenced by the wider discussions of food geographies in the discipline. It does so with particular attention to: the spatial politics of food deserts, food security, and food justice movements; the socialities of food identities; and the embodiments of food. This tripartite discussion of the social geographies of food is intended to highlight the complex theoretical and methodological approaches that geographers are employing when interrogating this particular object.
... Despite the range of work reviewing the characteristics and definitions of ALFS, it is now generally agreed that this doesn't actually help to clarify problematic terms like 'alternative' or 'local'. Rather, they tend to become more clouded as they are associated with, represented by, and refracted through, these other terms (Holloway et al., 2007a;DuPuis and Goodman, 2005;Tchoukaleyska, 2013). Hinrichs (2003) has argued, for example, that it is dangerous for researchers to adopt a simplistic 'local ¼ good' and 'global ¼ bad' dichotomy, as just because a product is 'local' it is no guarantee that it is inevitably healthier, tastier, fairer, or more environmentally sustainable (see also Morgan, 2011). ...
Article
Although farmers markets are often described in relatively homogenizing terms, there is nonetheless significant diversity in their form and function, and that diversity remains underexamined within the academic literature. Drawing on document analysis of a novel dataset of Oregon farmers market organization's vendor rules and regulations, this paper challenges commonly-held assumptions about the values often assumed to be inherent to alternative food networks and embedded forms of exchange. In examining the stated mission, values, and goals of farmers market organizations, this study found that geographic proximity, economic, and community-oriented values and goals predominated. Farmers market organizations showed comparatively less focus on values such as equity, health, and sustainability. These findings are surprising, given how frequently farmers markets are equated with ethical and sustainable consumption. Additionally, this paper presents empirically-driven findings related to how farmers market organizations define and codify the parameters of local vendors, local food, and direct-to-consumer sales, and how markets use standards and regulations to advance a vision of ‘good food’ that centers on quality, authenticity, scale of production, health, sustainability, and ethics.
Conference Paper
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Studies for the circular economy have focused consumption from the perspective of acceptance of business models. However, consumers can engage in waste prevention, reuse and reparation in modes of consumption outside existing market-networks. This paper proposes a shift in perspective for studies on the circular economy, from production to consumption. Taking alternative modes of consumption as its starting point, it explores what the circular economy may entail when explored from a consumption perspective. More specifically, it presents the results of a literature review in which literature on alternative consumption has been reviewed and analyzed based on circularity principles and a framework of six moments of consumption. In this review, two main modes of alternative consumption were identified – one based on the meaning given to purchases made within the existing market structure, and one centered on engagement in taking care of community commons. These two modes are relevant to reduction and slowing down of material cycles. Based on these findings, recommendations are made regarding how the results can be used in further theoretical and empirical research on consumption in the circular economy, beyond business models.
Chapter
This chapter introduces the case study through which the arguments of this book are developed: London’s Borough Market. It explains the relevance of this particular example in examining the complex dynamics between market and marketplace, and explains the importance of understanding these dynamics through the lenses of place and place-making, which highlight the material, social-spatial, temporal and imaginative practices that reproduce such marketplaces and markets. Urban marketplaces such as Borough Market once played an important role in food provisioning for the City. Typically occupying positions on the urban periphery, they served as a key interface between urban and rural economies. With changing systems of food provision and urban political and cultural economies more generally, as well as broader shifts in the tastes and expectations of urban residents and consumers, such marketplaces are increasingly valued for the consumer culture and experiences of consumption they seemingly engender, rather than for their roles in food provision. This chapter details the history of Borough Market and contextualizes it as part of broader economic, social and cultural change within the city. It charts the marketplaces history as a key food market for London, and its decline in the last half of the twentieth century. It also presents the marketplace’s re-emergence as a fine and alternative food market in parallel to new and emergent forms of ‘alternative’ food production and consumption, and the ways which they have transformed marketplaces as sites of urban consumer culture increasingly orientated towards conspicuous consumption.
Chapter
What is it about markets and marketplaces in the city? Beginning with a ‘topo/graphic’ vignette that introduces Borough Market, and its cultures of consumption, this chapter sets the stage for the book. It sketches out the ways in which urban markets and marketplaces are becoming increasingly visible in academic and lay debates about cities, and outlines why this book’s conceptual and methodological attention to place and place-making is necessary to frame markets and marketplaces and offers critical insights into the changing roles that they play in a city’s political and cultural economy. Critically, along with introducing the book’s main arguments, this chapter argues that current scholarship in which markets and marketplaces feature tends to overlook the geographies of the marketplace, and the internal and external dynamics of place that constitute the marketplace, focusing instead on their political-economic or social-culture dimensions. It argues further that topo/graphy is one way to examine these geographies, interrogate their constituent relations and examine their effects. The chapter closes by briefly outlining the book’s topo/graphic logic, followed by a brief overview of the chapters and their organization.
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Geography has recently experienced something of an ‘ethical turn’, and much attention has been focused on consumption as a site of ethical practice. Studies of ethical consumption tend to focus on explicitly socially or environmentally responsible purchasing decisions, but a growing body of research on ‘ordinary ethics’, starting from the premise that most consumption has a moral dimension, has opened up the notion of what counts as ethical to include everyday habits, considerations and desires. There remains, however, relatively little appreciation of the ethical agency of consumers within the global South, and little consideration of how enactments of ordinary ethics within Southern contexts may deepen understandings of the practices and meanings of diverse forms of consumption. Addressing this gap, this paper explores accounts of producers and consumers of craft in informal trading spaces in Cape Town, a city that 20 years after apartheid’s end remains deeply racially segregated and has seen numerous incidents of xenophobic violence. It is in this context that I unpack the ethical dimensions of a seemingly trivial form of consumption, arguing that sites of informal trade may provide spaces for the expression and enactment of care for the other. While not always entirely positive, these interactions reveal a complex moral landscape where shared identities and mutual recognition underpin mundane economic transactions. The paper concludes that ordinary ethics of care for the other go beyond explicit, rational responsibility, and that informal spaces of trade should be considered as key sites for the exploration of consumer ethics.
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This is a partial update to the Community Food Systems Bibliography, originally published in April 2012. This bibliography gathers published literature on local and regional food systems and categorizes the literature by key topics. The original bibliography covered literature published from 2000-2011, and contained approximately 1650 articles. In early 2013, we conducted a partial update using the original search methodology. This updated added an additional 526 articles published between September 2011 and January 2013. These new articles are included in the master Excel and EndNote downloads, and listed separately for reference in this PDF. For the initial Community Food Systems Bibliography and methodology, please refer to the original PDFs:
Article
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The Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) is still an unusual sign of quality in beef. The efforts provided by a group of the Maine-Anjou area breeders to obtain it constitute an innovating step. In order to stop a worrying decline of this local breed which is profitable to the main national cattle breeds in the Pays de la Loire area, these producers succeeded in getting a greater valorisation of the original characteristics of their meat and the link with its "terroir" using a PDO: they succeeded on a long-term basis in interesting a network of hypermarkets, which was looking for a better product segmentation of its butchery sections. Their partnership with a multiple retailer and an industrial processing firm should help them surpass the local agricultural professional organisations' reluctance.
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“Coming home to eat” [Nabhan, 2002. Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods. Norton, New York] has become a clarion call among alternative food movement activists. Most food activist discourse makes a strong connection between the localization of food systems and the promotion of environmental sustainability and social justice. Much of the US academic literature on food systems echoes food activist rhetoric about alternative food systems as built on alternative social norms. New ways of thinking, the ethic of care, desire, realization, and vision become the explanatory factors in the creation of alternative food systems. In these norm-based explanations, the “Local” becomes the context in which this type of action works. In the European food system literature about local “value chains” and alternative food networks, localism becomes a way to maintain rural livelihoods. In both the US and European literatures on localism, the global becomes the universal logic of capitalism and the local the point of resistance to this global logic, a place where “embeddedness” can and does happen. Nevertheless, as other literatures outside of food studies show, the local is often a site of inequality and hegemonic domination. However, rather than declaim the “radical particularism” of localism, it is more productive to question an “unreflexive localism” and to forge localist alliances that pay attention to equality and social justice. The paper explores what that kind of localist politics might look like.
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In recent years we have witnessed the development of numerous alternative strategies (AS) within the UK agro-food system intent on overcoming, or at least circumventing, some of the problems associated with the globalisation of food production and consumption. Within these AS, there is an intention to reconnect food to the social, cultural and environmental context of its production, leading to considerable interest in their potential to engender sustained change within the food system. However, it is apparent that AS are likely to face various pressures on their underlying integrity and alterity, and their possible re-incorporation within mainstream processes. There is a need, therefore, to interrogate the durability of AS, which this paper does through its critical examination of farmers' markets (FMs). Drawing upon a number of FM cases studies, it examines the engagement of producers and consumers, both with each other, but also with the exchange context of FMs. The resultant data are assessed within the conceptual domains of embeddedness and regard as a means of better understanding the nature of FMs as an AS. The paper concludes by outlining the implications of this research for our comprehension of AS more broadly.
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In this article, I track the contemporary possibilities for the global circulation of extravirgin olive oil. Recent technoscientific discoveries about the health benefits of extravirgin olive oil combine with narratives about olive oil's “ancientness” and “naturalness” to make it a very successful food commodity in an era of global concern about the risks of “industrial” food. “The Mediterranean” has emerged as a culture area that is defined by food in two realms: in a scientific register (“the Mediterranean Diet”) and in contemporary gustatory discourses of distinction that imagine “the Mediterranean” as a site of delicious, “real” food as opposed to the industrial, processed food of the North Atlantic.
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This article asks how the heirloom tomato emerged as a cultural object in the late twentieth century, from something grown by individual seedsaving gardeners into a status symbol available for $7 a pound at speciality markets. This article finds that a combination of structural changes (increasing industrial farming on the one hand, and the turn to organic, local and ‘authentic’ food experiences on the other) as well as the activities of individual activist chefs and seedsavers has led to the tomatoes' emergence in a broader arena of consumption. But the article also reveals a significant spatial dimension to this apparent change in meaning. The heirloom tomato certainly emerges as a symbol of elite status in the pages of popular magazines and newspapers by the early twenty-first century – but the act of ‘distinction’ and the marketplace in which it happens are spatially demarcated and do not interfere with the access of non-elites to the object. Thus I offer an explanation of how this cultural object is created over time, but at the same time emphasise the importance of attending to location and spatiality in the study of taste, distinction and culture.
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Farmers’ markets have enjoyed a resurgence in the past two decades in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. This increase in popularity is attributed to a host of environmental, social, and economic factors, often related to the alleged benefits of local food, alternative farming, and producer–consumer interactions. Steeped in tradition, there are also widely held assumptions related to the type of food and food vendors that belong at a farmers’ market in addition to the type of experience that should take place. There remains a need to explore and analyze these fundamental aspects of the farmers’ market and to consider how they influence their formation and function. This paper argues that discourses of authenticity are central to the identity of the farmers’ market, and that they are constructed differently “from above” by those seeking to regulate farmers’ markets in particular jurisdictions and “from below” by managers, producers, and consumers at individual markets. A literature-based discussion is complemented and grounded by consideration of institutional statements regarding authenticity and of key results from a survey of managers, food vendors, and customers at 15 farmers’ markets in Ontario, Canada. It is demonstrated that while the general discourse about authenticity at the farmers’ market is built around strict, almost ideological assumptions about the presence of “local food” and those who produce it, community-level responses reflect considerable diversity in the interpretation and composition of the farmers’ market. It is suggested that a binary view of authenticity, where some farmers’ markets are cast as “real” and others presumably not, is highly problematic as it tends to ignore a large and important middle ground with multiple identities. KeywordsLocal Food-Farmers’ market-Authenticity-Re-sellers-Regulation-Certification-Ontario
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We add a political culture dimension to the debate over the politics of food. Central to food politics is the cultural granting of authenticity, experienced through the conjuring of relational presences of authorship. These presences derive from the faces and the places of relationality, what we term the ghosts of taste, by which food narratives articulate claims of the authorship of food by people and environments, and thus claim of authenticity. In this paper, we trace the often-conflicting presences of authenticating ghosts in food along a prominent axis of current debate: the local versus the global. The three cases outlined here—Greek food, Thousand Island dressing, and wild rice—illustrate the recovery and suppression of the lingering spirits of both local and global faces and places in what we taste, and show the mutually interdependent consequence of culture and economics in food politics. KeywordsPlace–Food–Localism–Food systems–Agriculture–Authenticity
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The paper demonstrates how whiteness is produced in progressive non-profit efforts to promote sustainable farming and food security in the US. I explore whiteness by addressing the spatial dimensions of this food politics. I draw on feminist and materialist theories of nature, space and difference as well as research conducted between 2003 and the present. Whiteness emerges spatially in efforts to increase food access, support farmers and provide organic food to consumers. It clusters and expands through resource allocation to particular organizations and programs and through participation in non-profit conferences. Community food’s discourse builds on a late-modern and, in practice, ‘white’ combination of science and ideology concerning healthful food and healthy bodies. Whiteness in alternative food efforts rests, as well, on inequalities of wealth that serve both to enable different food economies and to separate people by their ability to consume. It is latent in the support of romanticized notions of community, but also in the more active support for coalition-building across social differences. These well-intentioned food practices reveal both the transformative potential of progressive whiteness and its capacity to become exclusionary in spite of itself. Whiteness coheres precisely, therefore, in the act of ‘doing good’.
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L'Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée est un signe de qualité encore rare en viande bovine et les efforts d'un groupe d'éleveurs de Maine-Anjou pour l'obtenir relèvent d'une démarche innovante. Afin d'enrayer le déclin inquiétant de cette race locale au profit des grandes races à viande nationales, ces éleveurs sont parvenus à mieux valoriser les caractéristiques originales de leur viande et son lien au terroir à l'aide d'une A.O.C. : leur force est d'avoir suscité l'intérêt durable d'un réseau d'hypermarchés, qui cherchait à mieux segmenter l'offre de ses rayons boucherie. Leur partenariat avec un distributeur moderne et un industriel de l'abattage apparaît comme un moyen de dépasser les réticences des organisations professionnelles agricoles de la région.
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In this paper we attempt to compare the responses of consumers and professionals to questions related to organic food retailing, in order to highlight the differences and the similarities of viewpoints between them and to understand the links between consumer perception of organic food and the sales channel. In order to do this, we analyse the results of three studies, two of them conducted with consumers, the third one with professionals. The first study deals with the links between consumer trust orientations and the frequentation of the different sales channels where organic food can be found. The results of this study conducted in France and Germany show that consumers in organic food stores put trust in their store but are neither the heaviest nor the most trusting consumers. Consumers in hypermarkets or supermarkets do not really trust the store, and only really trust the label. In the second study, respondents were asked what their preferred outlet for organic products would be and why. Results show that organic food consumers like being something more than an anonymous consumer when shopping. They seem to appreciate markets particularly, and appear to attach no particular value to organic food stores, nor to the acknowledged greater convenience of shopping in supermarkets. This study also raises interesting questions relating to the experience of purchasing in terms of shop image and atmosphere, and factors that contribute to consumer trust in organic foods. The third study is based upon two surveys (autumn 2003 and autumn 2004) among organic food stores in France, on market development and on actors’ perception of their situation and their customers. According to shopkeepers, customers of organic food stores are looking more for quality and competence, than for attractive prices, and attach more and more value to traceability and trustworthiness. This paper both shows important similarities and differences of viewpoints between consumers and organic food stores shopkeepers, and gives researchers and professionals a better insight into the links between consumer perception of organic food and the sales channel.
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To compete in global markets, winegrowers must balance the seeming contradictory needs for territorial reputation and differentiation. This paper examines how the Bordeaux wine territories of St-Emilion and Blaye construct self-governance to achieve that balance, and looks at the extent to which their efforts influence the regulatory and supply chain structures of the industry. I adapt common pool resource theory (CPR) as a framework for analysis because it posits a collectively generated asset that must be maintained through mutually agreed rules. I extend CPR by focusing on reputation rather than physical assets and by incorporating the need for differentiation. The co-evolution of collectivity and differentiation is traced to establish differing institutional structures. The mechanisms of cooperation—democracy, legitimacy, fairness, monitoring, enforcement, cost reduction—are analyzed and compared for effectiveness in integrating collectivity and differentiation and for achieving territorial ambitions.
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This paper focuses on perceptions of threat to the integrity of France’s patrimoine naturel as carrier of collective cultural meanings and as biophysical life support infrastructure. First we situate the patrimoine naturel concept with its connotations of cultural heritage or transmission, in relation to ‘sustainability’. Then we give a recapitulation of results of a recent survey carried out by the French IFEN (Institut Français pour l’Environnement) exploring perceptions of what are the key categories of ‘natural capital’ — and their criticalness — for the French society and economy. A review is made of the availability of fundamental categories of ‘natural resources’ in the French economy, notably energy sources, forest assets, agricultural soils and water resources, and air quality. Finally we focus on natural capital as a life support infrastructure vulnerable to breakdown or contamination. Topical examples show environmental degradation due to pollution, accidents and the production of wastes, as being both serious and widespread. Ecosystem contamination is closely associated with defilement of food — dioxin in chickens, mistrust of GMOs in agriculture and food, and the vache folle — mad cow disease.
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The aim of this paper is to begin to examine the emergence of Farmers' Markets (FM) in the UK. It is suggested that FM represent a new type of 'consumption space' within the contemporary British foodscape, one which may be read as a heterotopic convergence of localist, moral, ethical and environmental discourses, mediated by networks of producers, consumers and institutions. Based on a preliminary analysis of some of the discourses employed by these actors, it is argued that FM can be understood simultaneously as 'conservative' and 'alternative' spaces. 'Conservative' in that they encapsulate a reactionary valorization of the local, linking localness to the ideas of quality, health and rurality, and 'alternative' in that they represent a diversifying rural economy arising in response to the difficulties being experienced by some UK farmers and a more general perception of a countryside under threat. Initial evidence from a pilot case study in Stratford-upon-Avon is used to support these suggestions and propose directions for future research.
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This paper explores the emergence of the Slow Food Movement, an international consumer movement dedicated to the protection of ‘endangered foods.’ The history of one of these ‘endangered foods’, lardo di Colonnata, provides the ethnographic window through which I examine Slow Food's cultural politics. The paper seeks to understand the politics of ‘slowness’ within current debates over European identity, critiques of neo-liberal models of rationality, and the significant ideological shift towards market-driven politics in advanced capitalist societies.
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In recent years, attempts to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of both tourism and agriculture have been linked to the development of “alternative” food networks and a renewed enthusiasm for food products that are perceived to be traditional and local. This paper draws on research from two UK regions, the Lake District and Exmoor, to argue that local food can play an important role in the sustainable tourism experience because it appeals to the visitor's desire for authenticity within the holiday experience. Using evidence from qualitative interviews with tourists and food producers, the paper records ways in which local foods are conceptualised as “authentic” products that symbolise the place and culture of the destination. By engaging with debates surrounding the meaning of locality and authenticity, the paper challenges existing understandings of these concepts and offers a new way forward for tourism research by arguing that “local food” has the potential to enhance the visitor experience by connecting consumers to the region and its perceived culture and heritage.
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Appreciation of fine arts became a mark of high status in the late nineteenth century as part of an attempt to distinguish "highbrowed" Anglo Saxons from the new "lowbrowed" immigrants, whose popular entertainments were said to corrupt morals and thus were to be shunned (Levine 1988; DiMaggio 1991). In recent years, however, many high-status persons are far from being snobs and are eclectic, even "omnivorous," in their tastes (Peterson and Simkus 1992). This suggests a qualitative shift in the basis for marking elite status - from snobbish exclusion to omnivorous appropriation. Using comparable 1982 and 1992 surveys, we test for this hypothesized change in tastes. We confirm that highbrows are more omnivorous than others and that they have become increasingly omnivorous over time. Regression analyses reveal that increasing "omnivorousness " is due both to cohort replacement and to changes over the 1980s among highbrows of all ages. We speculate that this shift from snob to omnivore relates to status-group politics influenced by changes in social structure, values, art-world dynamics, and generational conflict.
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Several studies, conducted across Europe and North America, have shown rising consumers' consideration of farmers' markets as important sources of local products from sustainable agricultural practices and increasing attention of farmers to this sale channel, in a period in which their share of the “food dollar” is continuing to decrease. In the present article a qualitative analysis on two farmers' markets, Naples in Italy and Washington, DC, in the United States, was conducted exploring the core features of the markets and revealing their main similarities, differences, and potential developments. Semi-structured interviews with vendors and direct observation gave a number of key insights of the two farmers' markets, enlightening that Italian consumers' main motivation to patronize the market is bargain, whereas in the American market the main feature is shoppers' desire to sustain local community and find high-quality foods.
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Marketing food directly from producers to consumers, so circumventing the ‘middlemen’ in the food supply chain, has many potential benefits. For consumers, direct marketing initiatives are providing people with locally grown, fresh, healthy and, in many cases, organic food at affordable prices. Through buying locally grown produce, consumers are giving their support to local producers as well as helping to revitalize rural economies. Producers benefit through retaining more of the value of their produce, which can help them survive through the current crisis in UK farming. There are also environmental benefits. Creating markets where people can buy produce from local farmers and growers reduces the distance that food travels between producers and consumers, which in turn decreases global environmental pollution. One direct marketing scheme – the farmers’ market – has proved to be particularly popular with local people, producers and the local councils, organizations and institutions who are involved in setting them up. This paper focuses on one such market, the Stour Valley Farmers' Market, which commenced trading on 20th June 1999. Customers who attended the first three of these monthly markets were interviewed to investigate the reasons for their attendance at the market, and their attitudes towards a number of food issues including organic and genetically modified food, local and seasonal food and concerns they may have over the way their food is produced. The research has shown that most customers visited the markets initially out of curiosity, although some attended specifically to buy healthy fresh foods. The vast majority of interviewees expressed a preference for food which is organically grown and free from genetic modification. Organic foods are generally perceived to be healthier and more flavoursome. When buying fresh foods, interviewees stated the importance of quality and freshness in their choice of produce.
Article
The aim of this paper is to begin to examine the emergence of Farmers’ Markets (FM)in the UK. It is suggested that FM represent a new type of ‘consumption space’ within the contemporary British foodscape, one which may be read as a heterotopic convergence of localist, moral, ethical and environmental discourses,mediated by networks of producers, consumers and institutions. Based on a preliminary analysis of some of the discourses employed by these actors,it is argued that FM can be understood simultaneously as ‘conservative’ and ‘alternative’ spaces. ‘Conservative’ in that they encapsulate a reactionary valorization of the local,linking localness to the ideas of quality, health and rurality, and ‘alternative’ in that they represent a diversifying rural economy arising in response to the difficulties being experienced by some uk farmers and a more general perception of a countryside under threat. Initial evidence from a pilot case study in Stratford-upon-Avon is used to support these suggestions and propose suggestions for future research.
Article
Typical products — foods with special characteristics due to local ingredients and traditional production techniques — have been the focus of many studies in rural sociology and geography. Shared suppositions have emerged regarding the historic, artisanal properties of these products and their beneficial contributions to rural development. However, extant studies tend to be fixed in certain theoretical contexts, and they under-appreciate the historic dynamics shaping food-territory links. The present study addresses these gaps by tracing, over time, the evolution of food-territory links in the UK, taking account of critical social, economic and political forces. This leads to a classification of typical products grounded in UK conventions, whose contributions to rural development are contrasted with those of ‘classic’ Mediterranean products, with some challenging results. The paper concludes that typical products need to be conceptualized from a broader perspective, and that face-value assumptions regarding their contribution to rural development need to be treated with caution.
Article
Many French wines, and now other kinds of agricultural products, manifest the process of “patrimonialization” as a counterforce to the homogenizing trends in the globalization of world food systems. The appellation contrôlée (AOC) concept, which dates from 1935, is the oldest expression of that patrimonial process. In it, the characteristics of a place—the terroir—are used to gloss its legally protected, territorial definition on which hinge claims to a place-based product authenticity and, by extension, quality. AOC implementation, now with almost seven decades of experience in France, serves as the model to understand how the application of terroir to place has focused on land-use practice, wine definition, vinicultural tradition, and landscape preservation. A complementary process at work is product salience that establishes its individuality in an interactive expectation between producer and consumer. Fieldwork in the commune of Cassis (Department of Bouches-du-Rhône) in the South of France sorted the set of historical, environmental, and economic conditions to reveal the actual functioning of these two processes at a local level. Appellation Cassis contrôlée, the third oldest and one of the smallest AOC in French viniculture, comprises 180 ha of vineyards and fourteen wine growers. In this case, establishment of product authenticity has been a continuous process. Wine types have evolved in spite of the absence of real innovation; political territory has been used to define terroir; the discourse of quality depends heavily on the historic past; vineyards have acquired a community value beyond any productivity; and producers have defined and defended their territory to boost its prestige to themselves and their consumers. The key entity in the appellation is the lower winegrowers syndicate. Presumptive statements, promotional rhetoric, consumer desire, and the politics of local decision making have shaped this wine region far beyond its environmental associations.
Article
This paper analyses the transformation and redefinition of local identity in rural France from the perspective of heritage – more precisely food and gastronomy – and local rural tourism. As an identity marker of a geographic area and/or as a means of promoting farm products, gastronomy meets the specific needs of consumers, local producers and other actors in rural tourism. The paper considers the meaning of food from a theoretical perspective. The current interest in traditional food and cuisine is part of a general desire for authentic experiences. At the regional level, the dynamics of building up heritage consist in actualizing, adapting, and re-interpreting elements from the past, thus combining conservation and innovation. Local development can be seen as a process of territorial and heritage construction. Culinary heritage is a social construction and an important resource for local action. The paper examines the case of the Haut Plateau de l’Aubrac (Central France), where the local development process is closely linked to the valorization and the re-creation of gastronomic knowledge and skill.
Article
In recent years those seeking alternatives to industrialized and globalized food systems have looked beyond organic production to develop a range of alternative food networks (AFNs). Alongside these developments in sustainable food and agriculture activism, a body of literature has emerged in rural sociology, agri-food studies and human geography exploring the development of alternative food networks. This article explores some potential synergies between this literature and geographical theory surrounding space and place. Place has been identified as central to AFN discourse and efforts to localize food systems, and while the benefits of localized food systems can be accepted uncritically by activist communities and the media, important questions have been raised about the reflexivity of local food activism. This article argues that a closer engagement with place theory would help avoid the fetishized constructions of the local often present in alternative food politics. Drawing on geographical debates about place, this article demonstrates the ways in which geographical place theory could inform and develop literatures examining alternative food politics.
Article
In this paper we analyze a turn to “quality” in both food production and consumption. We argue that quality in the food sector, as it is being asserted at the present time, is closely linked to nature and the local embeddedness of supply chains. We thus outline the broad contours of this shift and discuss the most appropriate theoretical approaches. We consider political economy, actor-network theory, and conventions theory and argue that, whereas political economy has proved useful in the analysis of globalization, it may prove less so in the examination of quality. We concentrate, therefore, upon actor-network theory and conventions theory and show that the former allows nature to be brought to the center of analytical attention but provides few tools for the analysis of quality, especially in the context of the food sector. Conventions theory, on the other hand, links together a range of aspects found in food supply chains and allows us to consider the establishment of quality as a system of negotiation between specific qualities. We illustrate possible uses of the approach through a brief consideration of food supply chains in Wales.
Article
In the social sciences there has been much exciting and informative work on farmers' markets and this paper contributes to this literature by considering how the place of farmers' markets affects the way consumers understand the taste of food. I draw on the difficulty faced by many consumers in articulating the taste of food, especially when food is perceived to taste good. I explore how consumers demonstrate their evaluations of taste, whether through descriptions of taste that are metaphor-laden or through beliefs and values emboldened by food knowledges and opinions. I argue these are how farmers' market consumers understand and perform taste in relation to market food. The findings that inform the paper are taken from interviews with farmers' market consumers in the UK.
Article
Amidst much discussion of the values and venues of local food, the Farmers’ Market (FM) has emerged as an important, but somewhat uncertain, site of engagement for producers, consumers and local food ‘champions’. Despite the evident certainty of various operational rules, the FM should be seen as a complex and ambiguous space where (contingent) notions of local, quality, authenticity and legitimacy find expression in communications and transactions around food. This paper seeks to extend current reflections on the nature of the contemporary FM and its relationship to the tenets of local food. An empirical analysis involving sellers, shoppers and managers at 15 markets in the Province of Ontario, Canada sought to understand how participants ‘read’ the market as an operating space and subsequently construct the terms of (their) engagement. Findings suggest that Ontario FM customers wish to support farmers and farming via their food-related spending and express attachments to a wide range of alleged benefits pertaining to local food. Yet these values are also malleable in their meaning and amenable to trade-off against other considerations—particularly where social capital is concerned. The notion of ‘local’ emerges as being widely valued but also highly interpretive in its meaning and variable in its absolute importance. The paper concludes with some reflection on the degree to which the findings support, challenge or modify current normative beliefs about local food at the FM.
Article
A total of 721 consumers were interviewed in order to obtain and compare consumer-driven associations to the word “Traditional”, in a food context, in six European regions. Participants, who were individually interviewed, had to state the first words that came into their mind when the word “Traditional” was verbally presented. Frequencies of occurrence of associations were obtained and analysed by means of simple correspondence analysis. The different word associations obtained were classified in 55 classes and then grouped in ten principal dimensions by triangulation. In general, southern European regions tended to associate the concept of “Traditional” more frequently with broad concepts such as heritage, culture or history. Central and Nordic European regions tended to focus mainly on practical issues such as convenience, health or appropriateness. As a final outcome of the analyses, a consensus conceptual map of traditional food products was obtained. The empirical findings of this qualitative exploratory free word association test provide valuable insights for product positioning, innovation and new developments in the traditional food market.
Article
During the belle epoque the sparkling wines of Champagne functioned within the new traditions and rituals of the European bourgeoisie, "oiling the wheels of social life." The champagne negociants adopted marketing techniques that involved producing images that linked their products, their family firms, and their region to evolving forms of bourgeois sociability. Rather than use brand names and advertising to appeal to a mass market, as their Anglo-American counterparts did, the negociants used the same techniques to court a select group of elite buyers as clients and, at the same time, mold new clients from the growing middle classes. The ability of the negociants to formulate a unique style of marketing proved a healthy adaptation to the market conditions and consumer culture of the period.
Article
This article looks at the impact of regulations on farmers’ markets in Italy, local food supply and provisioning choices. By exploring the everyday running of the market, it becomes clear that regulations are not just imposed, but rather negotiated and interpreted to fit local needs. Changing attitudes towards food hygiene also uncover discourses of modernity and struggles to adapt to the new Italian ‘consumer society’ while holding onto tradition and local food. Despite competition from supermarkets and increasingly restrictive regulations, farmers’ markets in Italy have a faithful core group of clients and interest is slowly growing on the part of a young generation who want to eat locally and share in the social life of the market.
Article
Parmi les objets qui composent le patrimoine rural, les ressources agricoles et alimentaires dites « de terroir » cristallisent aujourd'hui les attentes d'un nombre grandissant d'acteurs. Il n'est pas un dossier concernant l'amenagement du territoire, la defense des paysages, la diversification de l'agriculture, le micro-developpement ou la lutte contre la banalisation du gout qui ne fasse etat de leur existence et du role qu'elles sont susceptibles de jouer. Le mouvement s'accelere avec la c...
Lieux, temps et preuves. La construction sociale des produits de terroir
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Camembert: A National Myth (Trans Richard Miller) Market Day in Provence Maintaining the integrity of the French terroir: a study of critical natural capital in its cultural context
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Direction de la Réglementation Publique: Service des Affaires Commerciales
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