On Governance, Embedding and Marketing: Reflections on the Construction of Alternative Sustainable Food Networks [Book Review]

Abstract

Based on the reconstruction of the development of 14 food supply chain initiatives in 7 European countries, we developed a conceptual framework that demonstrates that the process of increasing the sustainability of food supply chains is rooted in strategic choices regarding governance , embedding, and marketing and in the coordination of these three dimensions that are inextricably interrelated. The framework also shows that when seeking to further develop an initiative (e.g., through scaling up or product diversification) these interrelations need continuous rebalancing. We argue that the framework can serve different purposes: it can be used as an analytical tool by researchers studying food supply chain dynamics, as a policy tool by policymakers that want to support the development of sustainable food supply chains, and as a reflexive tool by practitioners and their advisors to help them to position themselves, develop a clear strategy, find the right allies, develop their skills, and build the capacities that they need. In this paper, we elaborate upon the latter function of the framework and illustrate this briefly with empirical evidence from three of the initiatives that we studied

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