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Competitive Productivism and Australia's Emerging ‘Alternative’ Agri-food Networks: producing for farmers' markets in Victoria and beyond


Andree, P and Dibden, J and Higgins, V and Cocklin, C, Competitive Productivism and Australia's Emerging Alternative' Agri-food Networks: producing for farmers' markets in Victoria and beyond, Australian Geographer, 41, (3) pp. 307-322. ISSN 0004-9182 (2010) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 Geographical Society of New South Wales Inc. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Australian Geographer on 13/08/2010, available online:

DOI: doi:10.1080/00049182.2010.498038


This paper advances the theoretical argument for moving beyond the conventional/alternative divide in the analysis of emerging ‘alternative’ agri-food networks (AAFNs). In order to understand how ‘place’, ‘nature’ and ‘quality’-based food networks emerge and develop, we argue that careful attention needs to be paid to the way in which specific political-economic environments shape the options available to farmers and consumers. Australia's ‘competitive productivism’ is the outcome of an export-oriented economy and a neoliberal political orientation, and this environment affects the development of AAFNs in various ways. Most notably, a case study of farmers that sell at farmers' markets in the State of Victoria shows that the competitive-productivist policies pursued by Australian governments entice some farmers who participate in AAFNs to develop their ideas into higher output businesses tailored to compete in emerging export markets. Other farmers deliberately choose to keep marketing through alternative channels despite competitive-productivist pressures to expand. These findings demonstrate the centrality to the experience of AAFN participants of negotiating productivist pressures, adding nuances to the story of the complex relations between AAFNs and conventional supply chains.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:farmers markets, alternative food networks, Australia
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Rural sociology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Higgins, V (Professor Vaughan Higgins)
ID Code:138173
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:38
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-03-26
Last Modified:2020-06-23
Downloads:57 View Download Statistics

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