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Agriculture 2016, 6(4), 57; doi:10.3390/agriculture6040057

From Short Food Supply Chains to Sustainable Agriculture in Urban Food Systems: Food Democracy as a Vector of Transition

1
Joint Research Unit “Innovation and Development in Agriculture and Food”, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, Montpellier 34060, France
2
Freelance consultant, Montpellier 34000, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Giaime Berti, Moya Kneafsey, Larry Lev, Irene Monasterolo and Sergio Schneider
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 18 October 2016 / Accepted: 20 October 2016 / Published: 28 October 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [890 KB, uploaded 11 November 2016]   |  

Abstract

In industrialized nations, local food networks have generally been analyzed through alternative food systems, in spite of the fact that they are much more diverse than this would imply. In France, ‘short food chains’ are both a continuation of a long tradition and a recent trend which now extends beyond activists, to consumers and producers as well. This paper will explore the conditions under which these chains can change the practices and knowledge of ordinary actors in urban food systems, from producers to urban consumers and policy-makers, in the area of agriculture and sustainability. It will consider the case study of the creation and development of an urban open-air market which has been analyzed using intervention research with input from economic sociology. We will highlight how personal relations, which are encouraged by a participatory context, support the evolution of practices and knowledge. We will also illustrate how a system of produce labelling has emerged as a mediation resource, and has increased changes as well as participation within the re-territorialization of the urban food system. By describing a concrete expression of food democracy which is spreading in France via a free collective trademark, and by showing its role in the transition of ‘ordinary’ actors towards a more sustainable agriculture, this paper will shine new light onto local food chains as well as traditional short food chains, and will call for more research on the subject. View Full-Text
Keywords: short food chains; urban food systems; food democracy; re-territorialization; food labelling; sustainability; transition; non-activists; economic sociology; intervention research short food chains; urban food systems; food democracy; re-territorialization; food labelling; sustainability; transition; non-activists; economic sociology; intervention research
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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

Chiffoleau, Y.; Millet-Amrani, S.; Canard, A. From Short Food Supply Chains to Sustainable Agriculture in Urban Food Systems: Food Democracy as a Vector of Transition. Agriculture 2016, 6, 57.

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