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International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Published by Michigan State University

Official publication of the Research Committee on Sociology of Agriculture and Food (RC-40)
of the International Sociological Association (ISA)

Editors: Raymond Jussaume, Claire Marris and Katerina Psarikidou

Frequency: 3 issues per year 
ISSN: 0798-1759

Volume 18 Issue 1 (2011)

Co-producing Transition:

Innovation Processes in Farms Adhering to Solidarity-based Purchase Groups (GAS) in Tuscany, Italy                   28-53

Authors: Gianluca Brunori, Adanella Rossi and Vanessa Malandrin
Affiliation: Rural Economics Group, Department of Agronomy and Agro-ecosystem Management, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Abstract            PDF

The growth of localized and sustainable food systems is widely recognized in many Western countries as a response to the increasingly evident crisis of conventional food systems. However, despite the growing consumer demand, the producer capacity to catch up with demand emerges as a critical point. The authors reckon that participation in alternative food chains not only needs a new market opened, but also appropriate farming styles. Adopting new farming styles requires radical changes to knowledge and skills, material assets, organizational patterns, communication practices, etc. To that end, the direct interaction with consumers as well as the co-operation and co-ordination with other farmers become crucial. On the basis of a deep analysis carried out through a case-study – the innovation cycles activated by farmers adhering to Solidarity-based Purchase Groups (GAS) in Tuscany, Italy – the article explores the complex processes linked to transition, and tries to contribute to a theory of alternative food networks by representing changes in the farm as an outcome of interaction within hybrid networks through the definition of new codes, cognitive frames, norms, rules and organizational patterns.

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