This paper applies the frameworks of nested markets and alternative food networks to two empirical cases in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, aiming to analyse the construction and dynamics of these markets in order to demonstrate how their dimensions of quality, location, and nature are built and sustained, especially with regard to their interface with broader markets and their contributions to rural development practices, policies, and processes. The paper focuses on the study of rural tourism in Caminhos de Pedra Route, in the municipality of Bento Gonçalves, and the Farmers’ Market, in the municipality of Passo Fundo. Both cases represent alternative practices and processes of rural development and bear features that associate them to the nested markets. It is noteworthy that the influence of conventional food markets in these cases shows that nested markets do not operate in isolation but coexist and are continuously in connection with broader agri-food markets. In this sense, despite being subject to criticism and showing limitations, nested markets constitute increasingly robust strategies for rural development practices, processes, and policies, being able to create opportunities for families’ livelihood in rural areas.
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