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‘Workable utopias’ for socialchange through inclusion and empowerment? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Wales as social innovation

Cakal, Tezcan-Mert and Miele, Mara 2020. ‘Workable utopias’ for socialchange through inclusion and empowerment? Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Wales as social innovation. Agriculture and Human Values 37 , pp. 1241-1260. 10.1007/s10460-020-10141-6

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Abstract

The focus of this article is community supported agriculture (CSA) as an alternative food movement and a bottom-up response to the problems of the dominant food systems. By utilizing social innovation approach that explores the relationship between causes for human needs and emergence of socially innovative food initiatives, the article examines how the CSA projects emerge and why, what is their innovative role as part of the social economy and what is their transformative potential. Based on qualitative data from four different models of CSA case studies in different regions of Wales, UK, and by using concepts from an alternative model for social innovation (ALMOLIN) as analytical tool, the article demonstrates that the Welsh CSA cases play distinctive roles as part of the social economy. They satisfy the needs for ecologically sound and ethically produced food, grown within communities of like-minded people and they empower individuals and communities at micro level, while at the same time experiment with how to be economically sustainable and resilient on a small scale. The paper argues that in order to become ‘workable utopias’, the CSA initiatives need to overcome the barriers that prevent them from replicating, participating in policies and decision-making at macro level, and scaling up.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher: Springer Verlag
ISSN: 0889-048X
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 July 2020
Date of Acceptance: 6 July 2020
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2020 09:17
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/133183

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