The modern industrialized food system has faced criticism for several decades. Since the 1990s, various alternative food networks (AFNs) have attempted to increase the economic, environmental and social sustainability of the food system. A recent innovation in Finland, REKO food rings, was motivated by the desire to enhance the livelihood of farmers and to facilitate a broader change in agricultural practices. It applies contemporary social media tools to organize communication and trade between producers and consumers. The present paper analyses perceptions and experiences of sustainability among REKO producers using thematic interviews and questionnaire data. The results show that the expectations for increased sustainability are high, but the producers nevertheless face multiple challenges to ensure sustainability in their daily practices. Many producers reported having modified their production methods to be more environmentally sustainable already before joining REKO. With regards to economic sustainability, after an enthusiastic start, the positive impacts of REKO have started to diminish. Our findings point to the variations and dynamics of the experiences and perceptions that exist across locations and product segments.
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2019|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
- 512 Business and Management
- alternative food networks
- local food