Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Introducing ‘seeds of change’ into the food system? Localisation strategies in the Swiss dairy industry

Häberli, Isabel ; Forney, Jérémie

In: Sociologia Ruralis : Journal of the European Society for Rural Sociology, 2016, vol. 56, no. 2, p. 135-156

The Swiss dairy-farming sector faces challenging times after the removal of milk quotas. In this context, several cooperative/federative structures have developed new strategies to improve the situation of dairy farmers. Local products play an important role in these strategies. Based on ethnographic work, this paper looks at the social construction and negotiation of ‘the local’ within three... Plus

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    Summary
    The Swiss dairy-farming sector faces challenging times after the removal of milk quotas. In this context, several cooperative/federative structures have developed new strategies to improve the situation of dairy farmers. Local products play an important role in these strategies. Based on ethnographic work, this paper looks at the social construction and negotiation of ‘the local’ within three specific case studies. First, we show what diverging geographical and moral definitions of ‘the local’ emerge from the development of these localised food networks. Then we look at how the various moralities of ‘the local’ in turn contribute to the transformation of the actor’s position within the broader food system. Finally, we argue that apparently narrow economic strategies of food might open new paths for more transformative developments based on alternative values such as regional development, solidarity and identity.