Farm to institution programs: organizing practices that enable and constrain Vermont’s alternative food supply chains

Agriculture and Human Values 32 (1):87-97 (2015)
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Abstract

Farm to institution programs represent alternative supply chains that aim to organize the activities of local producers with institutions that feed the local community. The current study demonstrates the value of structuration theory :75–80, 1983; The constitution of society: outline of the theory of structuration. University of California Press, Berkeley, 1984) for conceptualizing how FTI agents create, maintain, and change organizational structures associated with FTI and traditional supply chains. Based on interviews with supply chain agents participating in FTI programs, we found that infrastructure, relationships, and pricing were seen as important factors that enabled and constrained FTI organizing. Additionally, we describe how FTI organizing serves to simultaneously reinforce and challenge the practices associated with traditional supply chains. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed as well as directions for future research.

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