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Introducing ‘Seeds of Change’ into the Food System? Localisation Strategies in the Swiss Dairy Industry

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2016
Author Forney Jérémie, Haeberli Isabel,
Project Filières alternatives dans la production laitière: reconfiguration des réseaux et autonomisation des producteurs
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Sociologia Ruralis
Volume (Issue) 56(2)
Page(s) 135 - 156
Title of proceedings Sociologia Ruralis
DOI 10.1111/soru.12072

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


The Swiss dairy-farming sector faces challenging times after the removal of milk quotas. In this context, several cooperative and federative structures have developed new strategies to improve the situation of dairy farmers. Local products play an important role in these strategies. Based on ethnographic work, this article looks at the social construction and negotiation of ‘the local’ in three case studies. Firstly, we show what diverging geographical and moral definitions of the local emerge from the development of these localised food networks. Then we look at how the various moralities of the local in turn contribute to the transformation of the actors' position in the broader food system. Finally, we argue that apparently narrow economic strategies might open new paths for more transformative developments based on alternative values such as regional development, solidarity and identity.