Keywords: organic food, food supply chains, UK, United Kingdom, system innovation, alternative foods, chicken, potatoes, food production, food processing, niche innovation
Organic production: the adoption of a niche strategy by the mainstream food system
This paper critically assesses the potential and barriers for food system transformation from the conventional to an organic model by utilising the literature on system innovation. Based on the analysis of two food supply chains in the UK, namely chicken and potato production and processing, the paper demonstrates that the current conventional food system appears to be resilient to radical change. Instead, mainstream actors of the conventional food system adopt organic production as a part of their diversification strategy. Considering the potential of niche innovations, such as organic production, to transform the existing system, the paper discusses whether key elements of the system allow such a change.