Integrating and Extending Research
Edited by Ada Scupola and Lars Fuglsang
Chapter 17: The new ‘online’ alternative food networks as a socio-technical innovation in the local food economy: Two cases from Milan
The chain of food production, distribution and consumption is undergoing an intense process of innovation, in the face of a generalized crisis that affects the whole world of food. New and varied models of food provisioning are emerging in Western cities, in which food is produced, sold and distributed in the light of three basic principles: the chain is as short as possible; the food has a higher quality and environmental values; and a direct relation between producers and consumers is built and sustained. These models are known as ‘alternative’ or local food networks, and are run and operated by an original alliance of collective and individual stakeholders. They use the Internet and digital technologies as the stepping stones of their organization and, interestingly, exercise their activities (at least partly) outside the mechanisms and infrastructure of the corporate-controlled dominant food distribution sector. In this chapter we will present Cortilia and L’Alveare che dice S"!, two rapidly consolidating business-oriented alternative food provisioning models from the city of Milan.
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