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Cultivating market relations - diversification in the Danish organic production sector following market expansion

Thorsøe, Martin H. and Noe, Egon (2014) Cultivating market relations - diversification in the Danish organic production sector following market expansion. Sociologia Ruralis. [In Press]

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Summary

Developing a model to characterize the influence of the market on organic production has long been sought within agro-food studies. This paper explores how the market influences organic production by looking at the relationship between the market and producers’ engagement in trust and quality building as well as farm level production strategy in the Danish organic food market. Our perspective on the organic market is based on Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and, using qualitative interviews, we identify four market agencements, arrangements of actors endowed with agency: 1) standardizing market agencement, 2) personalizing market agencement 3) specializing market agencement and 4) aesthetifying market agencement. The market agencements enact multiple versions of organics, with the data indicating that there is a congruency between the agencement, production strategy, trust and quality. All farmers have concerns about adapting their production strategy towards their market relations or adapting their market relations to their production strategy. The present configuration of the organic market in Denmark is the outcome of a development which has enabled some producers to develop large-scale organic productions, but it has also enabled the development of niches emphasising new qualities and consumer relations. This article further documents that organic farmers not only produce goods for a pre-defined market, but they also cultivate new market relations and the current market conditions is the outcome of a gradual co-evolution of different market relations. Furthermore the article indicates that farm-level production changes will be most effective if supported by adjustments in the market relations embedding the new practice into the product qualities.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Farming Systems > Social aspects
Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Values, standards and certification > Evaluation of inputs
Research affiliation: Denmark > Organic RDD 1 > MultiTrust
Deposited By: Thorsøe, Postdoc Martin
ID Code:27316
Deposited On:03 Oct 2014 10:47
Last Modified:03 Oct 2014 10:47
Document Language:English
Status:In Press
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:Part of MultiTrust deliverable 3.3.1

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