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Sustainability 2016, 8(4), 316; doi:10.3390/su8040316

Organizing the Co-Production of Health and Environmental Values in Food Production: The Constitutional Processes in the Relationships between Italian Solidarity Purchasing Groups and Farmers

1
Department of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, University of Perugia, Borgo XX giugno, 74, Perugia 06124, Italy
2
European University of Brittany, University of Rennes2 - 5 Boulevard Laënnec 35000 Rennes France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 18 March 2016 / Accepted: 24 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability and Competitiveness of Farms)
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Abstract

The paper focuses on the Solidarity Purchasing Group (SPG), defined as a group of households that establishes an organization primarily to provide food to its members. The study aims at illustrating and testing two hypotheses. The first is that within the group, specific organizational processes take place according to which food communication practices determine the resource use objectives. The second hypothesis is the SPG tends to assign larger values to health and environmental protection than other resource use objectives. These hypotheses concern the ranking of the resource use objectives managed by the group. The idea is that an SPG defines the resource uses according to the specific group’s objectives and by means of organizational tools, especially the food communication practices. For testing purposes, we conducted an empirical analysis by submitting an online questionnaire to 900 Italian SPGs. The results firstly indicate that the organizational dimensions of SPGs, including the relationships between SPGs and farmers, influence the group objectives, providing empirical evidence that supports the first hypothesis. Moreover, the test of the second hypothesis indicates that group objectives concerning health and environmental protection are particularly valued by the SPGs. We then conclude that the groups are aimed at co-producing health and environmental protection with public authorities. We then underlined limits of the study and potential future research paths. View Full-Text
Keywords: solidarity purchasing groups; organization; constitutional process; co-production solidarity purchasing groups; organization; constitutional process; co-production
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Martino, G.; Giacchè, G.; Rossetti, E. Organizing the Co-Production of Health and Environmental Values in Food Production: The Constitutional Processes in the Relationships between Italian Solidarity Purchasing Groups and Farmers. Sustainability 2016, 8, 316.

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