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Steak up to the horns! The conventionalization of organic stock farming: knowledge lock-inin the agrifood chain

Jamar, Daniel and Stassart, Pierre (2008) Steak up to the horns! The conventionalization of organic stock farming: knowledge lock-inin the agrifood chain. GeoJournal, 73, pp. 31-44.

[thumbnail of Steak_up_to_the_horns.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English


Recent conversations concerning organic food systems have focused on the conventionalization hypothesis, which posits that the organic food sector has become increasingly bifurcated between ‘‘historical’’ players in the organic movement on one side, and on the other by distributors and industrial operators recently arrived in the sector, who practice a more conventionalized form of organic agriculture which is now on the ascendancy. The most prominent explanations for the growth and dominance of a conventionalized organic food system have be eneconomic, based in the logics of input costs, especially land rent. We use the cases of the Belgian Blue commodity system and the Belgian organic beef commodity system to argue that conventionalization is also cognitive. To understand the role of cognition in the ascendance of the conventional organic food sector, we utilize concept of ‘‘re·fe·rentiel’’—or systemof cognitive references as developed by Muller and Jobert. We believe that comparing organic and conventional practices as two systems of cognitivereferences makes a deeper understanding of conventionalization possible in two ways: first because it makes it clear that the two systems coexist on a cognitive level, understood in a broad sense as tightly knit sets of knowledges, beliefs, standards, and images. Secondly, the concept of re·fe·rentiel enables one to understand how the conventional system can become irreversible (lock-in effect) and thus incompatible with the development of the organic system.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Organic conventionalization, Food chain lock-in, Stock farming, Belgian Blue cattle
Agrovoc keywords:
Subjects: Animal husbandry > Production systems
"Organics" in general
Farming Systems
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Beef cattle
Food systems
Research affiliation:Belgium
Belgium > Wallonia > Centre Wallon de Recherche Agronomique (CRA-W) (Gembloux)
Deposited By: MOERMAN, Mrs Marie
ID Code:45102
Deposited On:09 Jan 2023 08:22
Last Modified:09 Jan 2023 08:22
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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