One of the many claims about the value of local food is that local food exchanges generate trust between producers and consumers. To what degree is this actually the case and how does such trust develop? Drawing on interview and fieldwork data in one local food system in the Northeastern U.S., I show how local food participants (particularly farms and food retailers) build trust and reciprocity with one another in order to mitigate the challenges imposed by the conventional system. This trust and reciprocity builds primarily through three mechanisms: reliable, positive relationships; demonstrations of good will toward one another; and a shared understanding of the value of locally-oriented food. Through these mechanisms, local food operators are able to build a healthy, stable local food system, able to better resist the pressures of the conventional system in which it must continually operate.
Agriculture and Human Values – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 17, 2016
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