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Resource website of social and solidarity economy

Alternative local food networks

Themes : Alternative forms of entrepreneurship, production and consumption

The rapid development of alternative local food networks represents a reaction to the industrialization and productivism of globalized food production systems. These food production and distribution networks differ from the dominant systems in proposing a short distribution circuit, limiting the number of intermediaries between the farmer and the consumer to one or zero. They are based on relationships that are usually associated with specific geographic locations and ethical frameworks that seek to address a whole series of questions, including transport of foodstuffs and the use of agrochemicals, human health and animal well-being, (non)ethical practices (at the local and global levels) and exploiting labour power. The three key principles of environmental, economic and social sustainability are taken into account. An essential characteristic that distinguishes these relationships from those forged in the conventional sector is the central notion of the human tie that is recreated between producers, consumers and food.

These initiatives are often very diverse: some advocate direct human contact and active defence of peasant farming; others propose “tailor-made” solutions such as delivering organic boxes door-to-door. What unites them is the actors’ desire to break with the approach based on commoditization and standardization of food. Alternative local food system respond to this approach by seeking to build up trust between producers and consumers, while participating in the emergence of new forms of political participation.

5 publications | 5 Videos | 17 case studies | 22 Analyses/working papers/articles | 2 public contributions

5 publications

5 Videos

17 case studies

22 Analyses/working papers/articles

2 public contributions