Organic vs. conventional agriculture: knowledge, power and innovation in the food chain 1 1 This paper emerges from a research project – Organic Supply Chains in Wales – funded by the Welsh Office, the Development Board for Rural Wales, the Welsh Development Agency and West Wales Training and Enterprise Council. The material presented here derives from the secondary analysis of agriculture and food conducted for the project. It contains no new primary data and the literature and documents reviewed are fully referenced. We are grateful for the support of the organisations mentioned above organisations as well as our collaborators on the project, Jo Banks and Terry Marsden. We would also like to thank Richard Cowell, Carolyn Foster, Nick Lampkin, Ann Latham, Suzanne Padel and Neil Ward for their help with this paper.

Organic vs. conventional agriculture: knowledge, power and innovation in the food chain 1 1 This... In this paper we examine the way that knowledge is distributed within economic networks. Adopting a broad evolutionary approach we examine the distribution of economic knowledge within two food chains: the conventional food chain, which relies on intensive inputs into the food production process, and thus tends to distribute knowledge towards input suppliers, and the organic food supply chain, which distributes knowledge back towards the farm as farmers must relocalise their understandings of the production process. We present two stylised accounts of each chain and show that for farmers to move from one to the other they must forget many of the practices so characteristic of the conventional chain in order to (re)learn how to farm in an ecologically benign fashion. In the organic chain, we argue, farmers can once again become “knowing agents”. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Geoforum Elsevier

Organic vs. conventional agriculture: knowledge, power and innovation in the food chain 1 1 This paper emerges from a research project – Organic Supply Chains in Wales – funded by the Welsh Office, the Development Board for Rural Wales, the Welsh Development Agency and West Wales Training and Enterprise Council. The material presented here derives from the secondary analysis of agriculture and food conducted for the project. It contains no new primary data and the literature and documents reviewed are fully referenced. We are grateful for the support of the organisations mentioned above organisations as well as our collaborators on the project, Jo Banks and Terry Marsden. We would also like to thank Richard Cowell, Carolyn Foster, Nick Lampkin, Ann Latham, Suzanne Padel and Neil Ward for their help with this paper.

Geoforum, Volume 31 (2) – May 1, 2000

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN
0016-7185
eISSN
1872-9398
D.O.I.
10.1016/S0016-7185(99)00029-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this paper we examine the way that knowledge is distributed within economic networks. Adopting a broad evolutionary approach we examine the distribution of economic knowledge within two food chains: the conventional food chain, which relies on intensive inputs into the food production process, and thus tends to distribute knowledge towards input suppliers, and the organic food supply chain, which distributes knowledge back towards the farm as farmers must relocalise their understandings of the production process. We present two stylised accounts of each chain and show that for farmers to move from one to the other they must forget many of the practices so characteristic of the conventional chain in order to (re)learn how to farm in an ecologically benign fashion. In the organic chain, we argue, farmers can once again become “knowing agents”.

Journal

GeoforumElsevier

Published: May 1, 2000

References

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