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
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1068/a4262
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.
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