Working the fields: The organization of labour in community supported agriculture

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Abstract

Community supported agriculture schemes are a prominent example of localized alternatives to the global food system. They are presented as alternative nodes of food production, where the consumer experiences a much closer relationship to the produce they are consuming and to the labour involved in producing it. They lift the commodity veil by inviting the consumer into the world of production – of labour. However, there has been little analysis of labour undertaken in the setting of community supported agriculture, particularly the labour of community supported agriculture consumers, or members. Marxian analysis of the food system at the macro level has underpinned powerful critiques of its shortcomings and highlighted inequalities of land and labour, but has rarely been employed to understand the possibilities of alternative food networks at a more micro level. In this article, I draw on Marx’s concept of alienation to explore the experience and organization of labour within a community supported agriculture scheme in the United Kingdom. In doing so, I present a case study of how labour in a community supported agriculture scheme counteracts experiences of alienation created by capitalism and consider how this might inform (re)organization of labour in the food system, more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-313
Number of pages23
JournalOrganization
Volume27
Issue number2
Early online date16 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Alienation
  • alternative food
  • community supported agriculture (CSA)
  • labour
  • local food
  • organization
  • ALIENATION
  • FOOD SYSTEMS
  • CSA
  • LOCAL FOOD
  • COOPERATIVES
  • URBAN AGRICULTURE
  • INITIATIVES
  • ECONOMIES
  • RETHINKING
  • MOTIVATIONS

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