Social Relationships and Farm-to-Institution Initiatives: Complexity and Scale in Local Food Systems

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Abstract 
Farm-to-institution (FTI) initiatives have the potential to further the development of local food systems, create new markets for farmers, and increase the availability of local farm products. Yet the complexity and scale of FTI pose challenges. For many scholars and practitioners, local food systems' significance and potential for social change lie in direct relationships between producers and consumers. This article describes an empirical study that examined relationships in FTI in Michigan. Three key findings emerged. First, relationships of trust operate throughout even the large and complex local food systems we investigated. Second, linear supply chain models may neglect important components of local food systems. Third, local food relationships appear to foster creative and adaptive problem solving. Implications for further research are discussed.

Keywords

local food systemsfarm to institutionsocial relationshipslearning supply chains

 

Citation

Buckley, Jenifer, David S. Conner, Colleen Matts, and Michael W. Hamm. 2013. Social relationships and farm-to-institution initiatives: Complexity and scale in local food systems. Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 8(4) 397-412.

 

DOI
10.1080/19320248.2013.816988
  

Corresponding author

Mike Hamm mhamm@msu.edu

 

This article is available at: 10.1080/19320248.2013.816988

Author(s): Buckley, Jenifer, David S. Conner, Colleen Matts, and Michael W. Hamm.
Date: November 21, 2013