Governance Mechanisms in Food Community Networks

How do consumers and farmers organize credence food transactions? This paper discusses this issue through the concept of Food Community Network (FCN). A FCN is defined as an organization where consumers and farmers integrate their goals organizing a network. FCN is based on pooling specific resources and using membership-based contracts, to assign decision and property rights. It implies an organization based on a combination of several democratic and communitarian elements, with few market-like and bureaucratic ones. Based on those concepts this paper proposes a research to analyse the FCN governance mechanisms. Real case studies collected through an internet-based investigation on Community Supported Agriculture in North America have been found. Applying (i) new institutional economics and (ii) organizational science arguments, the case studies were used to determine features that are useful to describe how FCN governance works. On one hand we used (i) new institutional economics based features such as pooling resources and contracting; (ii) on the other hand market-like, bureaucratic, communitarian and democratic elements represent the organizational science approach. The results indicate a great variety of FCN organizational forms emerging in North America.

Schiefer, Gerhard
Rickert, Ursula
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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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ISSN 2194-511X (Other)
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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