A Systematic Literature Review of Sustainability within Alternative Food Networks

Michel-Villarreal, Rosario (2019) A Systematic Literature Review of Sustainability within Alternative Food Networks. In: 2019 Postgraduate Research Student Showcase, 20th February 2019, University of Lincoln, UK.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
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In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to individuals organising themselves and managing food systems in an ‘alternative’ way. Such emerging food initiatives are most commonly known as ‘Alternative food networks’ (AFNs) in academic literature. The phenomena have been linked to broader concepts such as locality, quality, spatiality, embeddedness and sustainability. Farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture, box schemes, cooperatives, farm shops and other initiatives have been grouped under the AFNs umbrella. It has been suggested that the importance of these initiatives lies in the fact that we will not be able to meet our food sustainability challenges without them. However, there is an ongoing debate concerning the extent to which AFNs are able to facilitate social, economic and environmental change. There are criticisms of the overall sustainability promise of AFNs related to sufficiency of impact, possible countereffects and relevance of impacts. Because often empirical studies only focus on specific sustainability issues or AFNs, it has been difficult to develop more robust theories about the relation between diverse AFNs arrangements and sustainability. This lack of clarity may limit the opportunities for constructive change that AFNs may facilitate. Thus, the aim of this paper is to contribute towards reducing this knowledge gap through a systematic literature review on AFNs. In this paper, we will aim to provide some clarification regarding the sustainability issues and AFNs arrangements reviewed within the AFNs literature. Lastly, the research designs adopted within empirical AFNs studies will also be reviewed.

Keywords:sustainability, systematic literature review, alternative food networks
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N100 Business studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:35222
Deposited On:04 Mar 2019 07:24

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