Inderscience Publishers

Looking for alternatives: the construction of the organic beef chain in Mugello, Tuscany

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There is a growing consensus that organic farming is undergoing critical changes as it is integrated into food chains. A situation of 'deadly embrace' between organic and retail chains can be observed and explained by the appropriation of both the alternative values and the economic benefits associated with the organic food production by the 'dominant' actors within the conventional agro-food arena. The case we have analysed underlines the importance for the organic sector to find innovative organisational patterns in order to meet the challenges entailed with the process of growth and development while preserving the authenticity of the values embedded in a traditional – even not organic – production system.

Keywords: alternative food supply, food supply networks, organic farming, conventionalisation, food relocalisation, organic agriculture, Italy

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