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Beyond the divide: rethinking relationships between alternative and conventional food networks in Europe

Roberta Sonnino and Terry Marsden

Journal of Economic Geography, 2006, vol. 6, issue 2, 181-199

Abstract: In this paper, we develop the burgeoning research agenda on alternative food networks in Europe. Through the concept of 'embeddedness', we argue for a much more nuanced and complex understanding of the relationships between conventional and alternative food chains--and, by extension, of their implications for rural development. Rather than viewing alternative and conventional food networks as separate spheres, we see them as highly competitive and as relational to one another and argue for the need to examine the links more critically. In particular, we highlight the need to explore the competitive relationships that alternative food networks have with the conventional sector to expose power imbalances and the effect these may have on wider rural development processes. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:6:y:2006:i:2:p:181-199