Collective purchase: moving local and organic foods beyond the niche market

Little, R., Maye, D. and Ilbery, B. (2010) Collective purchase: moving local and organic foods beyond the niche market. Environment and Planning A, 42 (8). pp. 1797-1813. ISSN 0013-9173 Available from:

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The authors draw attention to the creative possibilities offered by collective purchase as a mechanism to move local and organic foods beyond the niche market. The food-buying group and cooperative style of food purchasing has received only scant reference in the alternative food and ethical consumption literatures, but it offers much in terms of historical context and future lessons for growth in the sector. `We can do it better' is an experimental ethic of the 1960s and 1970s counterculture, but it resonates strongly with the present-day `alternatives' associated with the local and organic food movement. The authors use Gibson-Graham's notion of `diverse economies' to examine selected buying groups and food cooperatives in North America, Europe, and Japan. The results reveal a highly pixilated and evolving mix of motivations and ethics. The `ideology first, practicalities later' approach appears to be a powerful influence, symbolising the `becomingness' of ethical purchasing in these contexts.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:food buying groups, food cooperatives, alternative food networks, alternative economies
Faculty/Department:Faculty of Environment and Technology > Department of Geography and Environmental Management
ID Code:12811
Deposited By: Dr D. Maye
Deposited On:07 Dec 2010 11:28
Last Modified:20 Sep 2016 02:31

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