International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Value Chains or Social Capital? Producer Organizations in the Citrus Fruit Sector

International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Volume 22, issue 2 (2015), pages 85–103

Authors: Mihai Varga
Affiliation: Osteuropa-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany

ISSN: 0798-1759


The article studies institutional performance and specifically the effectiveness of producer organizations in agriculture in areas with low levels of social capital. It finds within the same region (Sicily) one case supporting an institutionalist reading (linking low performance levels to low levels of social capital), and one success case in which, despite the burden of low social capital, producer organizations united small farmers and developed a unitary brand for their products. The article finds that the difference in institutional outcomes is due to differences between value chains, and specifically due the extent to which the interests and power of wholesalers and producers in such institutions diverge.

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