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Innovate and Sustainable Models of Food Consumption

Track Coordinators: Luigi Cembalo, Francesco Caracciolo, and Alessia Lombardi. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Economics and Policy Group, University of Naples Federico II - Italy.

Newer and more sustainable models of food consumption are often seen as a reaction and alternative to the mainstream models. Consumers use the market as a political arena to respond to social and environmental needs (Long and Murray, 2013). They rediscover their political power, no longer assuming a passive role within the market, thus transforming themselves into critical citizens (Norris, 1999). These are consumers committed to assessing the social effects of their consumption choices, with socially important objectives in their sights (Micheletti and Stolle, 2006). At the same time, farmers feel involved in a space within which their identities can emerge, hitherto obscured by the chiefly industrial model of agriculture where the individual and biodiversity have no pivotal role to play.

        Thus, enhancing innovative and sustainable agro-food system is more and more calling for the emergence and diffusion of new models of food consumptions (Beckie et al., 2012; Renting et al., 2003; Mount, 2012; Cembalo et al., 2012). Often new spontaneous models of food consumption are characterized by an economy that, though not necessarily local, is ethical and equitable, where social and economic relations tend to develop clusters and networks (Cembalo et al., 2013). In many cases direct relationships between farmers and consumers are engaged (i.e. farmers markets, community supported agriculture, solidarity purchasing groups), where critical consumption is spontaneously built in collective actions aiming at a more sustainable and innovative forms of consumption (Ostrom et al., 1999).

        We welcome theoretical and empirical contributions from researchers and practitioners on the following themes as well as ideas broadly related to this specific track:

        1. Short supply chain organization and management;
        2. Consumers/farmers engagement;
        3. Sustainable, local and rural development;
        4. Ethical consumption, and;
        5. Collective action and social embeddedness.

        To be taken into consideration abstracts have to be sent by November 1, 2013 to WICaNeM2014@wur.nl. For further questions and remarks please contact track coordinators: cembalo@unina.it.



Beckie, M. A., Kennedy, E. H., & Wittman, H. (2012). Scaling up alternative food networks: farmers’ markets and the role of clustering in western Canada, Agriculture and Human Values, 29(3), 333-345.

        Cembalo, L., Migliore, G., & Schifani, G. (2012). Consumers in Postmodern Society and Alternative Food Networkd: The Organis Food Fairs Case in Sicily, New Medit, 11(3), 41-49.

        Cembalo, L., Migliore, G., & Schifani, G. (2013). Sustainability and new models of consumption: the Solidarity Purchasing Groups in Sicily, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 26(1), 281-303.

        Long, M. A., & Murray, D. L. (2013). Ethical Consumption, Values Convergence/Divergence and Community Development, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 1-25.

        Micheletti, M, & Stolle, D. (2006). Political Consumerism, in Sherrod, L. R., Flanagan, C. A. & Kassimir R.: Youth Activism: An International Encyclopedia, New York, Greenwood Publishing Group.
Mount, P. (2012). Growing local food: scale and local food systems governance. Agriculture and Human Values, 29(1), 107-121.

        Norris, P. (1999). Critical Citizens. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

        Ostrom, L., Burger, J., Field, C.B., Norgaard, R., & Policansky, D. (1999). Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges, Science, 284, 278-282.

        Renting, H. T., Marsden, K., & Banks, J. 2003. Understanding alternative food networks: exploring the role of short food supply chains in rural development. Environment and Planning A, 35(3), 393-412.

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