Matching Items (4)

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Gardens of justice: food-based social movements in underserved, minority communities

Description

Residents of the United States increasingly support organic and local food systems. New Social Movement theorists have described alternative agriculture as a social movement that transcends social class. Other scholars

Residents of the United States increasingly support organic and local food systems. New Social Movement theorists have described alternative agriculture as a social movement that transcends social class. Other scholars have critiqued alternative agriculture for catering to a middle-class, white public. Simultaneously, geographers have identified communities across the United States that struggle with reduced access to healthy fruits and vegetables. In some of these neighborhoods, known as “food deserts,” local groups are redefining an inequitable distribution of healthy food as a social injustice, and they have begun initiatives to practice “food justice.” The overarching research questions of this study are: 1) How do communities become food deserts? 2) How do food justice movements crystallize and communities practice food justice? 3) What are the social outcomes of food justice movements? Using an Ecology of Actors framework, this study analyzes the actors and operational scales of three food justice movements in Phoenix, Arizona. A narrative analysis of historical scholarly materials and other artifacts reveals that, for more than a century, some communities have tried to create minority-operated local food systems. However, they were thwarted by racist policies and market penetration of the conventional US food system. Interviews with residents, garden organizers and food justice advocates living and working in the city create a narrative of the present day struggle for food justice. Results of this work show that contemporary residents describe their foodscape as one of struggle, and carless residents rely upon social networks to access healthy food. Garden organizers and gardeners are creating networks of community gardens, market gardens, and informal farmers’ markets. They are actively transforming their communities’ landscapes with sophisticated garden ecology in an intense urban heat island. However, the movement’s continued success may be threatened. Many new Phoenix-based local food coalitions and national alternative agriculture social movements are now working to alter Phoenix’s foodscape. Composed of well-educated professionals, who have adopted a justice-based language around food, these organizations may unintentionally co-opt the local food justice movements.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

Development of horizontal coordination mechanisms for planning agricultural production

Description

Agricultural supply chains are complex systems which pose significant challenges beyond those of traditional supply chains. These challenges include: long lead times, stochastic yields, short shelf lives and a highly

Agricultural supply chains are complex systems which pose significant challenges beyond those of traditional supply chains. These challenges include: long lead times, stochastic yields, short shelf lives and a highly distributed supply base. This complexity makes coordination critical to prevent food waste and other inefficiencies. Yet, supply chains of fresh produce suffer from high levels of food waste; moreover, their high fragmentation places a great economic burden on small and medium sized farms.

This research develops planning tools tailored to the production/consolidation level in the supply chain, taking the perspective of an agricultural cooperative—a business model which presents unique coordination challenges. These institutions are prone to internal conflict brought about by strategic behavior, internal competition and the distributed nature of production information, which members keep private.

A mechanism is designed to coordinate agricultural production in a distributed manner with asymmetrically distributed information. Coordination is achieved by varying the prices of goods in an auction like format and allowing participants to choose their supply quantities; the auction terminates when production commitments match desired supply.

In order to prevent participants from misrepresenting their information, strategic bidding is formulated from the farmer’s perspective as an optimization problem; thereafter, optimal bidding strategies are formulated to refine the structure of the coordination mechanism in order to minimize the negative impact of strategic bidding. The coordination mechanism is shown to be robust against strategic behavior and to provide solutions with a small optimality gap. Additional information and managerial insights are obtained from bidding data collected throughout the mechanism. It is shown that, through hierarchical clustering, farmers can be effectively classified according to their cost structures.

Finally, considerations of stochastic yields as they pertain to coordination are addressed. Here, the farmer’s decision of how much to plant in order to meet contracted supply is modeled as a newsvendor with stochastic yields; furthermore, options contracts are made available to the farmer as tools for enhancing coordination. It is shown that the use of option contracts reduces the gap between expected harvest quantities and the contracted supply, thus facilitating coordination.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Peasant coffee farmers and climate change: the case of Café Justo in Chiapas, México

Description

Small-scale, peasant farmers are some of the most vulnerable people to the effects of climate change. They rely on a stable climate to support their natural ways of farming, which

Small-scale, peasant farmers are some of the most vulnerable people to the effects of climate change. They rely on a stable climate to support their natural ways of farming, which typically depends on consistent rainfall, temperate weather, and predictable season cycles. The perceptions of how successful coffee production is during shifting climatic disruptions is of key importance, if mitigation or adaptation efforts are to be successfully implemented. By using ethnographic methods with members of a coffee cooperative in Mexico, called Cafe Justo, I found that peasant farmers are very perceptive of the climatic changes and recognize forthcoming challenges as a result of changes in weather and precipitation levels. Rain-fed agriculture remains particularly vulnerable to coffee market demands, as coffee production for the majority of the cooperative members is the primary source of income. Through interpretive analysis of in-depth interview data collected from 19 coffee-famers in Chiapas, Mexico, I identified factors associated with perceptions of changing climate and weather conditions. Social identities, general perceptions of climate change, and impacts on livelihoods were investigated through the speaking-with model, as it was presented by Nagar and Geiger in 2007. These findings have rich implications for co-learning between the small-scale, coffee farmers and the scientific community so that mitigation and adaptation strategies are discussed. The findings also merit further investigation into future migration changes due to mass exoduses of climate refugees who are no longer able to successfully cultivate and harvest the lands to serve their needs and those of their community.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Community supported agriculture membership: characterizing food and sustainability behaviors

Description

Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) have become a viable local source of fresh agricultural goods and represent a potentially new way to improve fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals and

Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs) have become a viable local source of fresh agricultural goods and represent a potentially new way to improve fruit and vegetable consumption among individuals and families. Studies concerning CSAs have focused mainly on characteristics of the typical CSA member and motivations and barriers to join a CSA program. The purpose of this study was to examine whether behavior and attitudinal differences existed between current CSA members and a nonmember control group. Specifically, ecological attitudes, eating out behaviors, composting frequency, and family participation in food preparation were assessed. This study utilized an online survey comprising items from previous survey research as well as newly created items. A total of 115 CSA member and 233 control survey responses were collected. CSA members were more likely to be older, have more education, and have a higher income than the control group. The majority of CSA members surveyed were female, identified as non-Hispanic and Caucasian, earned a higher income, and reported being the primary food shopper and preparer. The majority of members also noted that the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables they ate and served their family increased as a result of joining a CSA. CSA members were more ecologically minded compared to the control group. Frequency of eating out was not significantly different between groups. However, eating out behaviors were different between income categories. CSA members spent significantly more money at each meal eaten away from home and spent significantly more money on eating out each week. In both cases, controlling for income attenuated differences between groups. CSA members composted at a significantly higher rate and took part in other eco-friendly behaviors more often than the control group. Finally, no significant difference was evident between the two groups when analyzing family involvement in food preparation and meal decision-making. Overall, some significant attitudinal and behavioral differences existed between CSA members and non-CSA members. Further research is necessary to examine other distinctions between the two groups and whether these differences occur as a result of CSA membership.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011