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Organic FuturesStruggling for Sustainability on the Small Farm$
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Connor J Fitzmaurice and Brian J. Gareau

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300199451

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300199451.001.0001

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Conclusion: An Alternative Agriculture for Our Time

Conclusion: An Alternative Agriculture for Our Time

(p.229) Conclusion: An Alternative Agriculture for Our Time
Organic Futures

Connor J. Fitzmaurice

Brian J. Gareau

Yale University Press

Without abandoning the practical idea of farming as a business, the small-scale farmers in this book foster connections between consumer experiences and expectations and farming practices that support their visions of organic. They try to build new, alternative markets to challenge the watering down of “organic” that the full-force entrance of corporate market logics ushered in. However, there are limitations to how sustainable such farming operations can be without further changing the relationships the modern food system is based upon. This chapter begins by recognizing the many limitations of localism, including the potentially neoliberal aspects of such efforts. However, the neoliberal notion that individuals can and should bring forth their own interests and engage in political contestation could (paradoxically) be the very kernel that further popularizes small-scale food production networks that provide safer, more healthful food and a better sense of community than the isolating conventional shopping experience. Finally, the chapter considers how deepening consumer involvement in the process of agriculture, incorporating concerns about social justice into local food systems, and addressing the inefficiencies of decentralized food production could push local agriculture to be even more alternative.

Keywords:   Consumers, Alternative, Markets, Neoliberalism, Localism

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