International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

‘We Want Farmers’ Markets!’ Case Study of Emerging Civic Food Networks in the Czech Republic

International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Volume 19, issue 3 (2012), pages 347-364

Author: Lukáš Zagata
Affiliation: Department of Humanities, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

ISSN: 0798-1759


Abstract

The purpose of the article is to provide an empirical insight into non-conventional food initiatives in the Czech Republic, as representative of a post-Socialist country in Central/Eastern Europe, and more specifically to provide an answer to the questions of how the citizen-driven food networks in the Czech Republic evolve and what forms they take. The article presents detailed findings from a case study of farmers’ markets, which have been spreading all over the country since 2010 as a result of the strong, new engagement of consumer groups that first stood up for farmers’ markets in Prague, and later in other large cities. The case study employs different data collection techniques in order to describe and explore the initiative. Primary data for the study have been collected through semi-standardized interviews with organizers of the farmers’ markets, engaged farmers and local stakeholders, in order to understand the factors that have enabled this initiative to grow and challenge the dominant food networks. The study explores critically the active role of consumers in the transition of the current food networks, the mechanisms of the transitional process and the transformative potential of the initiative with regard to the sustainability of food production.

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