Political Consumerism and Food Community Networks

Risultato della ricerca: Other

Abstract

European society, with its steadily increased welfare levels, is not only concerned about food (safety, prices), but alsoon other aspects such as biodiversity loss, landscape degradation, pollution of water, soil and atmosphere. To a largeextent these concerns can be translated into a wider concept named sustainable development defined as a normativeconcept by Morgan and Sonnino (2008). Sustainability in the food chain means, in other words, approaching a newemerging vision of a sustainable agro-food system introducing a prism, instead of a triangle, of sustainability (J.Spangerberg, 2002) in which an institutional dimension is also taken into account.Sustainability can be defined as a normative concept and, therefore, completely conditioned by the institutional settingsin which is performed (Hagedorn, 2008). Institutions are key-factors in determining sustainable resources allocationin every human society. Key issue on consumers and sustainability address consumers ability to managea complex amount of information, complex transactions and biased perception of risk. A new equitable economicdevelopment is taking place in the real world promoting a model of interconnected and participatory communitieswith individual autonomy and involvement as well as integrating environmental considerations into economic developments.The concept of sustainable development calls for compatible institutions for enhancing sustainability at thedi erent levels of economic, social and environmental human activities.For all the above reasons, we believe that scope exists for looking inside the newest form of organization that aregrowing, and are observable, in the real world economics.Among di erent attempts to conjugate such concepts, there is one that is taking place in many Region of Italy. Inthe last years spontaneous aggregations of consumers are developing. They are named Equitable Purchase Group(EPG). In short, they are characterised by an economy, not necessarily local, ethical and equitable, where social andeconomic territorial relations tend to develop districts and networks. One of the main characteristics of a EPG is the1direct relations between small farms, mainly producing organic products, and their customers with a high content ofparticipation and specialization.In this paper we go into EPGs in Sicily. In this southern region of Italy there are about 1,200 nucleus distributed in32 EPG (a nucleus is a family partecipating at an EPG). The study means to tackle issues related to organizationalframeworks, at farm and chain level, and to assess those elements that mark consumers choices and their customersatisfaction. A representative sample of EPG (about 300 nucleus) was directly interviewed by means of an ad hocquestionnaire. A multinomial logit model was also implemented to verify what variables better explain the reason ofa (un)successful EPG.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Pagine139-159
Numero di pagine0
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2011

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