Wills, B, Countercultural convenience: access to alternative' food system quality attributes online, XXVI ESRS Congress Book of Abstracts: Places of Possibility? Rural Societies in a Neoliberal World, 18-21 August 2015, Aberdeen, Scotland, pp. 46. (2015) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]
|PDF (Conference paper presented at the XXVI conference of the European Society of Sociology)|
|PDF (Published Abstract)|
Despite the growth of Alternative Food System (AFS) manifestations such as farmers' markets and consumer food co-operatives, evidence exists to suggest these provisioning systems remain the preserve of relatively affluent consumers. At the same time, the growing popularity of internet enabled e-commerce is resulting in fundamental changes to many markets, including claims that there is a structural shift by consumers away from mass marketed products towards niche markets, such as those which characterise AFS. This paper explores these issues and offers new insight into how e-commerce, as a transformative innovation, might attract more resource constrained consumers to AFS while also retaining the quality conventions which currently mark AFS as Ďalternative'.
To demonstrate this possibility, a new theoretical model is advanced which incorporates both the language of AFS, as well as the neoliberal language of firm level strategy as it relates to e-commerce and niche markets. This capacity stems from a novel integration of Michael Porter's theory of generic strategy, the product lifecycle theory and French conventions theory. The latter is particularly useful as a tool for highlighting differences in production systems based upon different consumer and producer quality conventions.
Empirical data from a survey of 375 consumers who regularly acquired food through either ecommerce or non e-commerce mediated AFS is also presented. This data is useful for testing the validity of the proposed theoretical model.
In conclusion, this paper addresses how e-commerce is altering consumer access to AFS, including in ways which have a neoliberalising influence on Ďalternative' quality attributes.
|Item Type:||Non Refereed Conference Paper|
|Keywords:||Alternative food systems, internet commerce, access equity, conventions theory|
|Research Division:||Human Society|
|Research Group:||Policy and administration|
|Research Field:||Economic development policy|
|Objective Division:||Economic Framework|
|Objective Field:||Supply and demand|
|UTAS Author:||Wills, B (Dr Benjamin Wills)|
|Deposited By:||Australian Innovation Research Centre|
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