Moral Economy in the Case of Short Chains and Local Production

Sunday, June 26, 2016: 10:45 AM-12:15 PM
56 Barrows (Barrows Hall)
Elisa Gritti, Universidade Federal De Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil
Josefa Salete Barbosa Cavalcanti, UFPE-, Recife, Brazil
This paper aims at the problematization of economic trends and policies that contribute to recent   transformation in the context of Italian agriculture, looking at cases of solidarity economy and solidarity purchase groups (GAS). These new experiences of alternative farming in short and a zero km chain, are playing leading roles on  the moral, political and economic transformation of localities.

Relationships among producers and consumers and with territory, work and nature are being reworked critically by the followers of the solidarity economy. Analyzing practices and discourses we explore the moral base of this kind of market linked with “traditional” end local knowledge’s in a complex mix of past and modernity, “tradition” and “progress”, with the clear intention of reconnecting economy and social/moral/cultural way of life.

In this context, the "Spiga & Madia" short chain project in producing bread, starting from the ideas of solidarity purchase groups (GAS) in the region of Brianza (north of Italy) together with some farming producers, lends itself as a paradigmatic and concrete case for analysis of the argued dynamics. The bread, the main product of this short chain project, brings within symbolic elements, being considered by the actors as strong symbol of resistance from the perceived like amoral globalized market.

This research, performed with anthropological and ethnographic methodology, results from a field research conducted in 2015 with participants of the project of solidarity economy. Through the accompaniment of solidarity purchase groups (GAS) in their organizational meetings, all stages of production of bread re-built locally were identified and analyzed. Through interviews with producers and consumers of the chain, the main meanings involved were examined analytically especially about moral, cultural, social and economic values. The continuous connection to a network of Italian solidarity economy enables us to understand this experience within a broader social movement that opts for transformation dynamics in the context of work, agriculture, relationship with nature and among producers and consumers.

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