a relational approach to understanding mediation of organic quality from cow to cup
The aim of the paper is to analyze how the emergence of distinct quality conventions relates to particular network relations within two selected Danish organic dairy enterprises. The paper starts out from the assumption that the distinct qualities, which distinguish organic food, can be viewed as a form of symbolic capital. In order to be recognized and thus qualified as symbolic capital, mediation of quality takes place throughout the selected networks, all the way from cow to cup. At some point, symbolic capital will be converted into economic capital. In practical terms, management of quality is thus extremely important and even more so if the product chain in question is a ‘high-quality’ food chain of a relatively high level of complexity, such as an organic food network. Analytically, our main focus is on the relation between network structure and the qualities mediated from cow to cup. The paper is based on case studies of two Danish dairy enterprises (Thise Dairy and Arla Foods), which all operate within the Danish 'high-quality' and organic food market.
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Royal Geographical Society with Institute of Britisk Geographers Annual Conference 2010