Some scholars present Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) as a model of sustainable food provisioning that can bring socio-economic and environmental benefits to the people involved and to the territories where they operate. Other studies have been questioning AFNs ability to ensure sustainability in food provisioning. This article starts from the claim that AFNs may be more or less able to enforce sustainability of food provisioning depending on the circumstances where they act. The study maintains that theoretical and methodological tools are needed which assess sustainability of AFNs while taking into consideration contextual specificities. The article proposes Convention Theory (CT) as a theoretical framework to assess the socio-economic sustainability of AFNs with respect to the role they play in the agro-food, social and political contexts in Calabria (Southern Italy). It emerges that Calabrian AFNs might boost economic sustainability because they create opportunities for the valorisation and specification of traditional, high quality products. They might enhance social sustainability by tackling some of the causes of socioeconomic backwardness in the region. Finally, they stimulate participatory approaches in political and legislative processes that open up to account for variability when considering the contribution of AFNs to sustainability.

Convention theory and the assessment of socio-economic sustainability of alternative food networks in Calabria (South Italy)

De Luca A. I.
;
Stillitano T.;Gulisano G
2016

Abstract

Some scholars present Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) as a model of sustainable food provisioning that can bring socio-economic and environmental benefits to the people involved and to the territories where they operate. Other studies have been questioning AFNs ability to ensure sustainability in food provisioning. This article starts from the claim that AFNs may be more or less able to enforce sustainability of food provisioning depending on the circumstances where they act. The study maintains that theoretical and methodological tools are needed which assess sustainability of AFNs while taking into consideration contextual specificities. The article proposes Convention Theory (CT) as a theoretical framework to assess the socio-economic sustainability of AFNs with respect to the role they play in the agro-food, social and political contexts in Calabria (Southern Italy). It emerges that Calabrian AFNs might boost economic sustainability because they create opportunities for the valorisation and specification of traditional, high quality products. They might enhance social sustainability by tackling some of the causes of socioeconomic backwardness in the region. Finally, they stimulate participatory approaches in political and legislative processes that open up to account for variability when considering the contribution of AFNs to sustainability.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/5720
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