IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Characterizing alternative food networks in China

Listed author(s):
  • Zhenzhong Si

    ()

  • Theresa Schumilas

    ()

  • Steffanie Scott

    ()

Registered author(s):

    Amid the many food safety scandals that have erupted in recent years, Chinese food activists and consumers are turning to the creation of alternative food networks (AFNs) to ensure better control over their food. These Chinese AFNs have not been documented in the growing literature on food studies. Based on in-depth interviews and case studies, this paper documents and develops a typology of AFNs in China, including community supported agriculture, farmers’ markets, buying clubs, and recreational garden plot rentals. We unpacked the four standard dimensions of alternativeness of AFNs into eight elements and used these to examine the alternativeness of AFNs in China. We argue first that the landscape of alternativeness varies among different networks but the healthfulness of food is the most prominent element. Second, there is an inconsistency in values between AFN initiators and customers, which contributes to the uneven alternativeness of Chinese AFNs. Third, Chinese AFNs are strongly consumer driven, a factor that constrains their alternativeness at present. The inclusion of “real” peasants in the construction of AFNs in China is minimal. This paper adds to the existing literature on AFNs with an analysis of recent initiatives in China that have not been well documented before. By unpacking the dimensions of alternativeness into specific elements, this paper also provides an analytical framework for examining the alternativeness of AFNs especially nascent ones that have not developed a full spectrum of alternativeness. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10460-014-9530-6
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Springer & The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS) in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2015)
    Issue (Month): 2 (June)
    Pages: 299-313

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:32:y:2015:i:2:p:299-313
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-014-9530-6
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

    Web page: https://afhvs.wildapricot.org/

    Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Shi, Tian & Gill, Roderic, 2005. "Developing effective policies for the sustainable development of ecological agriculture in China: the case study of Jinshan County with a systems dynamics model," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 223-246, April.
    2. Patricia Allen, 2008. "Mining for justice in the food system: perceptions, practices, and possibilities," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(2), pages 157-161, June.
    3. Cheryl Brown & Stacy Miller, 2008. "The Impacts of Local Markets: A Review of Research on Farmers Markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1298-1302.
    4. Scott, Steffanie & Si, Zhenzhong & Schumilas, Theresa & Chen, Aijuan, 2014. "Contradictions in state- and civil society-driven developments in China’s ecological agriculture sector," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 158-166.
    5. Shi, Tian, 2002. "Ecological agriculture in China: bridging the gap between rhetoric and practice of sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 359-368, September.
    6. Patricia Allen & Julie Guthman, 2006. "From “old school” to “farm-to-school”: Neoliberalization from the ground up," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 23(4), pages 401-415, December.
    7. Erin Nelson & Laura Gómez Tovar & Rita Schwentesius Rindermann & Manuel Gómez Cruz, 2010. "Participatory organic certification in Mexico: an alternative approach to maintaining the integrity of the organic label," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 27(2), pages 227-237, June.
    8. Mary Beckie & Emily Kennedy & Hannah Wittman, 2012. "Scaling up alternative food networks: farmers’ markets and the role of clustering in western Canada," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 29(3), pages 333-345, September.
    9. Ruth Little & Damian Maye & Brian Ilbery, 2010. "Collective purchase: moving local and organic foods beyond the niche market," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 42(8), pages 1797-1813, August.
    10. Patricia Allen, 2010. "Realizing justice in local food systems," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 3(2), pages 295-308.
    11. 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.
    12. Robert Feagan & Amanda Henderson, 2009. "Devon Acres CSA: local struggles in a global food system," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 26(3), pages 203-217, September.
    13. Pei, Xiaofang & Tandon, Annuradha & Alldrick, Anton & Giorgi, Liana & Huang, Wei & Yang, Ruijia, 2011. "The China melamine milk scandal and its implications for food safety regulation," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 412-420, June.
    14. Laura Raynolds, 2000. "Re-embedding global agriculture: The international organic and fair trade movements," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 17(3), pages 297-309, September.
    15. Laura DeLind, 2011. "Are local food and the local food movement taking us where we want to go? Or are we hitching our wagons to the wrong stars?," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 28(2), pages 273-283, June.
    16. Alison Alkon, 2008. "From value to values: sustainable consumption at farmers markets," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 25(4), pages 487-498, December.
    17. Lucy Jarosz, 2000. "Understanding agri-food networks as social relations," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 17(3), pages 279-283, September.
    18. Reardon, Thomas & Berdegue, Julio A. & Timmer, C. Peter, 2005. "Supermarketization of the "Emerging Markets" of the Pacific Rim: Development and Trade Implications," Journal of Food Distribution Research, Food Distribution Research Society, vol. 36(01), March.
    19. Paul Thiers, 2005. "Using global organic markets to pay for ecologically based agricultural development in China," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 22(1), pages 3-15, 03.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:32:y:2015:i:2:p:299-313. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

    or (Rebekah McClure)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.