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Disconnection of the ‘organic’ food production from the ‘organic network’? - A Danish actor network case study


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Noe, Egon (2002) Disconnection of the ‘organic’ food production from the ‘organic network’? - A Danish actor network case study. [Submitted]

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The Danish case of organic agriculture is generally regarded as a success story. But the enrolment of new actors and the growing economic interest may lead to a change of the ideological foundation of organic agriculture. The scope of this paper is to explore what happens to organic agriculture through the process of dissemination of the organic mode of farming and enrolment of conventional farmers into organic farming from an Actor Network Theory (ANT) approach. This is explored through an in-depth case study of the local development and dissemination processes of organic farming. 11 organic farmers and two local advisors were interviewed. The narratives of the local organic network give the outlines to three phases in the network building. 1) The pioneer phase dominated by actors that is not belonging to the mainstreams of agriculture. 2) The enrolment phase, where local conventional actors are mobilised into the organic network. 3) The disconnection phase, where new organic farmers no longer necessarily are enrolled in the organic network and where the conventional agricultural networks have adopted organic farming as a concept into the conventional network strategies.
The ocular of ANT provides a new insight in the development of organic farming - useful to both the organic actors and to non-organic actors enrolled and enrolling into the organic mode of farming. Viewed from an ANT perspective, organic farming is not only a certain mode of farming, defined by rules, certification, brand, and control, but a mode of farming interwoven in a dynamic network of ideas, values, nature, human, food, technology, knowledge, etc., co- and reproducing the values and modes of farming. Enrolling of external actors is crucial to the strategy of the organic network. The enrolling capacity of the network is closely linked to the cohesiveness and internal resources of the network. In the long run, only strong networks are attractive to external actors and therefore the disconnection is a threat and a challenge to the future development and reproduction of the organic movement.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Food systems > Community development
Farming Systems > Social aspects
"Organics" in general
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Deposited By: Noe, Ph.D Egon
ID Code:326
Deposited On:11 Jan 2003
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:27
Document Language:English
Refereed:Submitted for peer-review but not yet accepted

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