Adams and Salois review the divergence of the organic and local food markets. They outline the shift of the organic movement with the development of federals standards and increases in marketing, as well as the abandonment of sustainable agronomic practices. Consolidation of farms and the entry of large corporations into the organic market also occurred. They note that today the organic market essentially functions as an oligopsony, with 80% of the organic food market being handled by two national distributors (2010, pg 332). Adams and Salois note that now the organic and local food have diverged as organic food has lost its essential nature as an alternative to industrial agriculture. Howeve, there is a significant possibility that a similar consolidation of the local food market into the sphere of large corporations is possible (2010, pg 338). To prevent this type of absorption and consolidation of power, I wonder if the idea of “ideology structured action” and reflexivity presented in Cherry et. al.’s discussion of conceptions of consumption would be helpful in preventing this (2011, pg 232). If the ideology surrounding the local food movement could be centered on resisting industrial agriculture and minimizing ecological footprints, absorption of the local food market into industrial food corporations might be more difficult. Of course whether or not one can make a profit maintaining a farm with these ideas of holism and reflexivity in mind is a major concern that comes to mind. In the end a farm is means of livelihood for the farmer. Profitability matters immensely!
Adams, D. and Salois, M. (2010). Local versus organic: A turn in consumer preferences and willingness-to-pay. Vol 25, No. 4, pg 331-341.
Cherry, E., Ellis, C. DeSoucey, M. (2011). Food for Thought, thought for food: Consumption, Identity, and Ethnography. Vol 40, No. 2, pg 231-258.