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What’s going into the box? An inquiry into the ecological and social embeddedness of EU and US box schemes

Ostrom, Marcia; Kjeldsen, Chris; Kummer, Susanne; Milestad, Rebecka and Schermer, Markus (2016) What’s going into the box? An inquiry into the ecological and social embeddedness of EU and US box schemes. International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food, xx, xx-xx. [Submitted]

[thumbnail of IRSA_Ostrom et al  Box Schemes (v4) _MS.docx] Microsoft Word - Submitted Version - English
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Food distribution systems known as box schemes have gained an increasing foothold in organic markets across Europe and North America. In some cases, this model has afforded an opportunity to scale up from direct marketing by aggregating products from multiple producers and efficiently assembling and delivering them to large networks of consumers. Box schemes generally seek to attract consumers to their products based on the distinctive attributes and values associated with their food. This paper explores the spatial organization and the organizational dynamics of five multi-farm box schemes in relation to their stated values and marketing strategies using cases from Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and the United States.
Different aspects of ecological and social embeddedness are considered and analyzed for the five cases based on the stated values and marketing strategies of the organizations and the research findings, including to what degree values are communicated and applied throughout the supply chain. The value of geographical proximity in particular is examined with respect to the tension created by consumer demand for variety throughout the seasons and the spatial organization of sourcing and distribution that such a system entails. The inquiry focuses furthermore on the implications of spatial organization for the integration of farmers into the box schemes and the environmental and social claims of these supply chains. Additionally, the organizational challenges encountered by box schemes during periods of rapid growth are compared and contrasted with respect to the different organizational strategies employed across the different cases. This paper seeks to contribute to the research literature on the potential of box schemes to mediate between the values of producers and consumers and their capacity to improve the environmental and social outcomes of food production and distribution.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Food systems > Markets and trade
Food systems > Produce chain management
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic II > HealthyGrowth
Deposited By: Schermer, Dr Markus
ID Code:30740
Deposited On:08 Nov 2016 15:52
Last Modified:08 Nov 2016 15:52
Document Language:English
Refereed:Submitted for peer-review but not yet accepted

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