Construction of Alternative Food Networks for organic products: A case study of 〝Organized Groups of Supply and Demand〞
New Medit, Vol 15, n. 4, (December 2016), pp. 53-62
Jel classifications: D12, D63, D71
A variety of Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) has emerged to establish a direct relationship between farmers and consumers, in response to the conventional, long supply chain. This relationship defined in the literature as the “connectedness” of consumers to food production has been considered a factor to characterize different types of AFNs. The study proposes a framework for understanding the level of connectedness between consumers and producers members of the Organised Group of Supply and Demand (OGSD) in Umbria (Italy), a Solidarity Purchasing Group managed by the Italian Association for Organic Agriculture. The work investigated the organizational model of the Group and explored consumer reasons for purchasing organic products, assessing how these relate to the characteristics they look for in farmers. The analysis shows that consumers are interested in multi-dimensional sustainability, with primary concern for the environment and less attention to the social implications of food choice. The Group represents a good practice and a potential driver for promoting sustainable organic agriculture in Mediterranean countries.
alternative food networks, organic food, connectedness