Solidarity Purchasing Groups in Italy : a critical assessment of their effects on the marginalization of their suppliers
Maestripieri, Lara (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Institut de Govern i Polítiques Públiques)
Giroletti, Toa (University of Northampton)
Podda, Antonello (University of Cagliari)

Date: 2018
Abstract: Over the last twenty years, Alternative Food Networks (AFN) have become increasingly successful at reducing the length of the chain that connects food production and consumption in an attempt to counteract the impact of the contradictions of the industrial food system and its supermarket-dominated distribution. Their grassroots actions, aimed at overcoming pre-existing socio-economic structures, are in line with social innovations, which have the objective of promoting the social participation of consumers and producers in food systems (empowerment, socio-political activism or social integration in society). In Italy, the Solidarity Purchasing Groups (SPGs), have been the subject of numerous academic studies, but the scope of these studies has, to date, been limited to the political activism of the consumer. The ability of this experience to foster the social participation of the groups' suppliers and the effects that the exchange has on the economic life of the producers have not yet been adequately studied. This article addresses this gap by investigating the extent to which SPGs can reduce the economic marginalisation of their suppliers and evaluates if the activities they promote could increase their social participation. Based on quantitative and qualitative data, this study shows that SPGs, in contrast to other AFNs, maintain a clear separation between consumers and producers and this could mitigate the positive impact of these initiatives on their suppliers. Our analysis of the suppliers shows that SPGs can act as a safety net against economic downturns and that the social participation of the producers involved is higher at the macro, meso and individual levels, compared to producers who do not cooperate with the SPGs.
Note: Número d'acord de subvenció EC/H2020/747433
Rights: Tots els drets reservats
Language: Anglès.
Document: article ; recerca ; publishedVersion
Subject: Social innovation ; Marginalization ; Solidarity purchasing groups ; Alternative food networks
Published in: International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food, Vol. 24 Núm. 3 (2018) , p. 393-412, ISSN 0798-1759

21 p, 724.8 KB

The record appears in these collections:
Research literature > UAB research groups literature > Research Centres and Groups (scientific output) > Social and Legal Sciences > Instituto de Gobierno y Políticas Públicas (IGOP)
Articles > Research articles
Articles > Published articles

 Record created 2018-11-20, last modified 2019-09-03

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