Inderscience Publishers

How embedded are organic fresh fruit and vegetables at Irish farmers' markets and what does the answer say about the organic movement? An exploration, using three models

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

This article is about the responses the organic movement makes to various pressures on the alterity of farmers' markets (FMs) in Ireland. These pressures are the increasing distance food travels to the FM, availablity of processed foods, disconnected vendors and produce, appropriation, market forces and evaluations and finally policy pressures. However, the research presented here suggests that there are three different models of FMs in Ireland: pioneering, participatory and privately-run. Each has different coping mechanisms for dealing with the pressures. Varying levels of social and natural embeddedness along with varying institutional relations are used to understand the buying and selling of one particular category of food, organic fresh fruit and vegetables, in the different FM models. Along with and as part of this, the influence of the organic movement's knowledge interests, the place of personalised interactions compared to organic certification, and the activities of reflexive consumers are highlighted.

Keywords: organic farming, organic growing, farmers markets, FMs, embeddness, reflexive consumers, knowledge interests, certification, trust, organic agriculture, Ireland, organic fresh fruit, organic vegetables

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