Accepted paper:

Activists and producers: between market, morality and politics

Author:

Valeria Siniscalchi (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Marseille)

Paper short abstract:

Over the last years Slow Food has invested in the field of production extending its action from consumers to producers. This integration of small farmers and breeders interacts with the interests of producers. The paper reflects on economic models that emerge from these interactions and negotiations.

Paper long abstract:

Over the last fifteen years, Slow Food movement has increasingly invested in the field of production, extending its action from consumers to producers. Its new battles include the fight against intensive agro-industrial production, against standardization of taste and food, against GMOs. With projects around "food communities", small producers and local economies and the Terra Madre meeting, Slow Food's gaze and actions "encompass" producers and their living and working conditions. This shift to and integration of small farmers and small breeders in the movement interacts with the various interests of producers. What kinds of negotiations between activists and producers happen in these interactions? And what kinds of economic models emerge ? This paper aims to reflect on these interactions from the points of view of producers and from the points of view of activists. Beyond the variety of perspectives, the links with Slow Food is used by producers to legitimize their political actions and in different arenas, as well as to increase their visibility and to have or consolidate a place in the market. For its part, the leaders of SF are able to exert pressure in national and transnational conflictual arenas of food production; at the same time, they exercise the role of experts (re)defining the quality of production and 'good' and 'fair' producing practices. But this role generates frictions and conflicts.

panel P038
Soils, seeds and capitalism: political agronomy and the intimacies of farming