Recovering Food Commons in Post Industrial Europe: Cooperation Networks in Organic Food Provisioning in Catalonia and Norway

S. Gómez Mestres, Marianne E. Lien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media B.V. This paper explores food commoning through an ethnographic case study in Catalonia as our primary site while the Norwegian case is juxtaposed as a comparison, two agriculturally and economically different European countries. The ethnography analyses cooperation networks between organic food producers’ and consumers’ involving different nodes of community gardening initiatives, self-employed growers, local farmers and all of them under a unique cooperative integrating a community economy. The result it is a myriad of exchange practices ranging from reciprocity and barter to market exchange without intermediaries through on-line platforms. Along these exchanges different options of currency intervene giving rise to novel social and cooperative relations. Similar initiatives in Norway show less variation and are less experimental regarding forms of payment but share similarities in relation to material articulations, concerns and forms of alternative practice. Although these novel forms do not represent a complete break from the more standardized supply chains, and hence from the oppositions/contradictions of production and consumption, the participants see themselves as contributing to a more general process of de-commodification of food. We explore the extent to which the meaning and moral values are mutually constituted in relation to socioeconomic exchanges and environmental caring that each person experiences based on different forms of cooperation and reciprocity. Food, we suggest, is more than a commodity on the market that we may influence through our role as consumers. It is a significant focal point connecting our lives to those of others that articulates one’s relations to society in a political manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-643
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
Volume30
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Keywords

  • Cooperation networks
  • De-commodification
  • Food commoning
  • Moral values
  • Social currency

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