Political Consumerism and Food Community Networks
2011 International European Forum, February 14-18, 2011, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria
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European society, with its steadily increased welfare levels, is not only concerned about food (safety, prices), but also on other aspects such as biodiversity loss, landscape degradation, pollution of water, soil and atmosphere. To a large extent these concerns can be translated into a wider concept named sustainable development defined as a normative concept by Morgan and Sonnino (2008). Sustainability in the food chain means approaching a new emerging vision of a sustainable agro-food system introducing an institutional dimension to take into account. Among different attempts to conjugate such concepts, there is one that is taking place in many Regions of Italy. In the last years spontaneous aggregations of consumers are developing. They are named Solidarity Purchase Group (SPG). In short, they are characterized by an economy, not necessarily local, ethical and equitable, where social and economic territorial relations tend to develop districts and networks. One of the main characteristics of a SPG is the direct relations between small farms, and their customers with a high content of participation and specialization. The study means to tackle issues related to organizational frameworks, at farm and chain level, and to assess those elements that mark consumer’s choices and satisfaction.