Motives for Engaging in Alternative Food Networks : A Case Study with Partner Companies to Regionalwert AG

University essay from Malmö universitet/Institutionen för Urbana Studier (US)

Abstract: Modern society’s industrial food system has led to several environmental problems and is compromising the fundamental aspects of agriculture such as fertile soil, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. In addition to this, the food system contributes to economic and social difficulties for actors within the agricultural sector. Hence, the food system requires a deep socio-economic change. Regionalwert AG is among other alternative food networks, an initiative to enhance sustainable agriculture by operating at a regional level. In this study, interviews were conducted with partner companies of Regionalwert AG with the aim to examine what motivates people to engage in alternative food networks, using Regionalwert AG as an exemplary case. A further aim was to examine the partnership between the partner companies and Regionalwert AG. The results were analysed using the study's state of knowledge and the theoretical framework, consisting of alienation theory. The study shows that the informants had unique stories about how they engaged with the network and that the partnership was constructed in three different ways: investment partnership, licensed partnership, and supportive partnership. The motivations that emerged from the study were divided into three themes: (i) economic, social and ideological, (ii) critical approach towards the food system, and (iii) re-connecting people with agriculture. The informants expressed that they want to spread knowledge and awareness about food production and Regionalwert AG makes this financially possible as well as provides a platform to spread the message about the value of food.

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