An analysis of governance processes in territorial agri-food networks

Kirsten Vanderplanken, Elke Rogge, Ilse Loots, Lies Messely, Frederic Vandermoere

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePublished abstractpeer-review


    The past decade, awareness has been growing that the way we think and behave with regard to food is untenable in the long run. New networks that aim to build new linkages between food system actors are emerging in answer to the challenges the contemporary food system is facing. In addition, these new organizational forms are also a response to consumer concerns about food safety and nutrition, which leads to an increasing demand of locally embedded quality products. As a result, the new governance forms are accompanied by a new geography of food. It is our aim to gain insights into these new processes of governance and how they are related to the geographic organisation of food networks.

    This paper draws upon qualitative case study research of territorial food networks. We selected two cases that represent a new mode of governance, that involve a diverse set of actors and institutions, and that are geographically delineated. More specifically we investigate (1) which roles are crucial for these new modes of governance and (2) how this new governance form relates to the geographic organisation of the food network. A descriptive analysis of the local food networks reviews their social, organizational and geographic characteristics. This would allow to identify the main social actors and institutions that are involved and which governance roles they take, formal and informal rules that regulate the food network, and the geographic embedding of the food network. Next, we take a more systemic approach to our cases that involves three steps. First, in-depth interviews with key-actors are to give insights into the organization of these new modes of governance. We will analyse processes such as role division, inclusion and exclusion, and the interdependencies between the different role-occupants. Second, we will look at the relation between these processes and the geographic characteristics of the food network. Finally, both cases will be compared and their parallels and/or differences will be studied.

    We expect that the results of this study will contribute to research on civic agriculture, governance processes and food geographies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - Sep-2015
    EventSecond International Conference on Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society: Reconnecting Agriculture and Food Chains to Societal Needs - Rome, Italy
    Duration: 14-Sep-201517-Sep-2015


    ConferenceSecond International Conference on Agriculture in an Urbanizing Society: Reconnecting Agriculture and Food Chains to Societal Needs


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