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Katsika, Eleni, 2023. Shortening the chains : social relations and dynamics of production in Uppland's alternative food networks. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



Current global food systems are characterised by a highly concentrated capitalist
market where food is treated as a globalised hyper commodity and small-scale
farmers are pushed into the side-line. The need for the transformation of that food
system is urgent and acknowledged worldwide. Alternative food networks (AFNs)
initiatives have emerged around the globe as opposition towards the conventional
food system. This thesis investigates the potential of AFNs to be the steppingstone
for the transformation of the current food system, by bringing change on a local
level in the Swedish region of Uppland through their commoning practices. A
qualitative approach was followed including in-depth interviews with seven
farmers and two network representatives. The empirical material was analysed
through a political ecology perspective and the concept of food commoning. The
study concludes that AFNs contribute to changing the social relations among
producers by enabling trust and a strong community feeling through an idea of
collective management that is not connected to property but is related to the
common governance of food as a resource and the collective management of the
allocation of production. Participants saw AFNs as an effective way to shorten food
chains and avoid intermediaries, but none believed that AFNs could replace the
conventional food system. Overall, the analysis shows that operating through AFNs
generates alternative dynamics of producing, exchanging, and managing resources,
which involves a transparent and inclusionary system of collective management.
This study is a part of the ongoing academic debate on the weaknesses and
limitations of AFNs and their contribution to the transformation of the current food

Main title:Shortening the chains
Subtitle:social relations and dynamics of production in Uppland's alternative food networks
Authors:Katsika, Eleni
Supervisor:Rosén, Linus
Examiner:Gonda, Noemi and Fischer, Harry
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2023
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM009 Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:alternative food networks, food commoning, dynamics of production, political ecology, social relations, Sweden
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Deposited On:03 Jul 2023 10:45
Metadata Last Modified:04 Jul 2023 01:10

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