Accepted Paper:

An unnoticed innovation. Raw milk vending facilities in Italy and the possible reconfiguration of dairy products' regime.  


Tiziana Piccioni
Alvise Mattozzi (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano)

Paper short abstract:

We intend to present the case of raw milk vending facilities in Italy, showing how these facilities intended to reconfigure the regime of dairy products.

Paper long abstract:

Since 2003 facilities made in the shape of little huts or of bus stops have sprouted all over the Italian territory, especially in its northern regions. These facilities accommodate raw milk vending machines. Each of these facilities, which are managed directly by the breeder who usually owns them, works as a site and space where production and consumption can meet each other.

Through them, Italian breeders have tried to create an alternative food sale system with the aim of providing quality at a lower price for consumers and higher revenues per liter and liquidity for themselves. In trying to establish such alternative food sale system, these facilities did not just provide a different way of exchanging goods for money, but also qualified such exchange with values and practices opposed to those of the big distribution: a logic of care vs a logic of choice, attention to the local dimension vs neglect of the local dimension, direct relationship between consumers and producers vs and indirect or absent relation between consumers and producers.

With our paper, based in part on a previous research (Piccioni 2010; Mattozzi and Piccioni 2012), in part on new recently gathered data, we intend to present the story of these facilities, of their rise and of their fall. Thanks to an Actor-Theory framework, we will show how they performed as an innovation promising to overcome the level of a niche practice in order to reconfigure the regime of dairy production and consumption.

Panel T092
Transition to Sustainable Food Systems: Integrative Perspectives on Production and Consumption