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Alternative Agri-Food Networks and Short Food Supply Chains: a review of the literature

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  • Claudia Bazzani
  • Maurizio Canavari

Abstract

This paper is a literature review that focuses on the development of AlternativeAgri-Food Networks (aafns) and, in particular, on the development of Short FoodSupply Chains (sfscs). In the first part of the article we give a description of the social-cultural and environmental aspects which define aafns. aafns are generallythought of as a "turn" from industrialized and standardized systems to the "domestic" world, where quality is interpreted in terms of food localization, proximity relations,trust, tradition and place, and as a new form of rural development and an instrumentto revitalize rural areas. We verified that mainly two factors mostly influencethe characterization of the alternative food streams: embeddedness and food localization.The concept of embeddedness integrates social, environmental and health issues,while re-localization defines the tendency to build networks based on productionand consumption of local food and the development of a "local culture", basedon the valuation of food origin, community traditions and food habits. The secondpart of the paper is focused on the description of sfscs, as Farmers’ Markets or CommunitySupported Agriculture, which aim at reducing the number of transactionsalong the food supply chain and the distance between the production and consumptionof food products. The development of sfscs may help to provide various benefitssupport of the local economy, the strengthening of relations between consumersand their food traditions, the supply of fresher food products in comparison to conventionalfood networks, the re-valuation of the small-scale farmer’s role in the foodsystems, the use of sustainable production methods and the reduction of co2 emissions.This supposition has been contradicted by several recent pieces of research,and we have pointed out further criticisms of sfscs, such as the costs farmers have tobear when selling directly to the public. The article ends by setting out our considerationsregarding the development of aafns and sfscs and offers some suggestions,for starting points for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Bazzani & Maurizio Canavari, 2013. "Alternative Agri-Food Networks and Short Food Supply Chains: a review of the literature," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 15(2), pages 11-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:fan:ecaqec:v:html10.3280/ecag2013-002002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Henk Renting & Terry K Marsden & Jo Banks, 2003. "Understanding Alternative Food Networks: Exploring the Role of Short Food Supply Chains in Rural Development," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 35(3), pages 393-411, March.
    2. Rocchi, Benedetto & Cavicchi, Alessio & Baldeschi, M., 2010. "Consumers’ attitude towards farmers’ markets in Tuscany," 116th Seminar, October 27-30, 2010, Parma, Italy 95224, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    3. Riccardo Scarpa & George Philippidis & Fiorenza Spalatro, 2005. "Product-country images and preference heterogeneity for Mediterranean food products: A discrete choice framework," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 329-349.
    4. Martinez, Steve & Hand, Michael & Da Pra, Michelle & Pollack, Susan & Ralston, Katherine & Smith, Travis & Vogel, Stephen & Clarke, Shellye & Lohr, Luanne & Low, Sarah & Newman, Constance, 2010. "Local food systems: concepts, impacts, and issues," MPRA Paper 24313, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Wuyang Hu & Marvin T. Batte & Timothy Woods & Stan Ernst, 2012. "Consumer preferences for local production and other value-added label claims for a processed food product," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 39(3), pages 489-510, July.
    6. Susan Cholette, 2011. "Addressing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food distribution: a case study of Californian farmers’ markets," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 13(3), pages 145-169.
    7. Carlsson-Kanyama, Annika & Ekstrom, Marianne Pipping & Shanahan, Helena, 2003. "Food and life cycle energy inputs: consequences of diet and ways to increase efficiency," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2-3), pages 293-307, March.
    8. Roberta Sonnino & Terry Marsden, 2006. "Beyond the divide: rethinking relationships between alternative and conventional food networks in Europe," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 181-199, April.
    9. Martinez, Steve & Hand, Michael & Da Pra, Michelle & Pollack, Susan & Ralston, Katherine & Smith, Travis & Vogel, Stephen & Clarke, Shellye & Lohr, Luanne & Low, Sarah & Newman, Constance, 2010. "Local food systems: concepts, impacts, and issues," MPRA Paper 24313, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Gabriele Cassani, 2012. "Il risparmio nei farmers' market italiani: un approfondimento sui prodotti ortofrutticoli," RIVISTA DI ECONOMIA AGRARIA, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 0(2), pages 37-60.
    11. Coley, David & Howard, Mark & Winter, Michael, 2009. "Local food, food miles and carbon emissions: A comparison of farm shop and mass distribution approaches," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 150-155, April.
    12. Henk Renting & Terry K Marsden & Jo Banks, 2003. "Understanding alternative food networks: exploring the role of short food supply chains in rural development," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 35(3), pages 393-411, March.
    13. Vincenzina Caputo & Maurizio Canavari & Jr. Rodolfo M. Nayga, 2012. "Valutazione delle preferenze di consumatori campani per un sistema di etichettatura generico sulle "food miles"," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 14(1), pages 99-115.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sara Fabbrizzi & Silvio Menghini & Nicola Marinelli, 2014. "The Short Food Supply Chain: A Concrete Example of Sustainability. A Literature Review," RIVISTA DI STUDI SULLA SOSTENIBILITA', FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(2), pages 189-206.
    2. Gervasio Antonelli & Gian Italo Bischi & Fabio Tramontana & Elena Viganò, 2014. "Beyond a neoclassical consumer analysis in food choices," Working Papers 1410, University of Urbino Carlo Bo, Department of Economics, Society & Politics - Scientific Committee - L. Stefanini & G. Travaglini, revised 2014.
    3. Elena Viganò & Gervasio Antonelli & Gian Italo Bischi & Fabio Tramontana, 2015. "Consumo e consumatori di prodotti alimentari nella società postmoderna," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 17(1), pages 59-80.
    4. Silvio Franco & Clara Cicatiello & Emanuele Blasi & Barbara Pancino, 2015. "Le filiere corte auto-organizzate dai consumatori: il modello dei Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 17(2), pages 33-56.
    5. Giuseppe Marotta & Concetta Nazzaro & Mariarosaria Simeone, 2013. "Capitale umano e capitale sociale nell’agricoltura multifunzionale: un’analisi delle esperienze di filiera corta nella Campania interna," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 15(3), pages 149-173.
    6. Claudia Bazzani & Daniele Asioli & Maurizio Canavari & Elisabetta Gozzoli, 2016. "Consumer perceptions and attitudes towards Farmers' Markets: the case of a Slow Food "Earth Market"®," ECONOMIA AGRO-ALIMENTARE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 18(3), pages 283-302.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q13 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics

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