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Does scale matter?: Investigating the growth of a local organic box scheme in Austria
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Strategic Sustainability Studies.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Rural Studies, ISSN 0743-0167, E-ISSN 1873-1392, Vol. 54, 304-313 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Scaling up local organic food systems may be one way to render the overall food system more environmentally friendly and socially just. This paper focuses on an Austrian organic box scheme, specifically on how its relationship with local farmers is experienced in a process of growth. For data collection, we carried out semi-structured interviews with 19 supplying farmers and conducted a focus group discussion with 11 members of the management staff of the box scheme company. We explore the question: how did the growth of the box scheme influence relationships between supplying farmers and the box scheme in this local organic food system – from the farmers’ perspective as well as from the perspective of the box scheme company itself? A major challenge for the box scheme was reconciling its values (e.g. supporting many local organic farms) with practical issues such as logistics and coordination. The box scheme managed its growth by strengthening cooperation with two larger vegetable farms/wholesalers. But its support for diverse local organic farms suffered in this process, and the box scheme was still searching for solutions to efficiently interact with such a high number of suppliers. Having a high number of local producers was central to the box scheme's identity; therefore, internal governance structures needed refinement and reflection. The tension between specific qualities such as procurement from a multitude of local farmers on the one hand, and practical economical and logistical considerations on the other lies at the heart of the experience of scaling up local organic food systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017. Vol. 54, 304-313 p.
Keyword [en]
Austria, Box scheme, Local food system, Organic agriculture, Scaling up
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-212272DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2017.06.013ISI: 000411545000026Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85023625299OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-212272DiVA: diva2:1133863
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2008-428
Note

QC 20170817

Available from: 2017-08-17 Created: 2017-08-17 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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