From the Niche Cuisine to the Mainstream Kitchen? a Communication Perspective on Drivers and Barriers in Popu Larizing Local Alternative F Ood System

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Karoline PÖGGEL, Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany
This project engages with local alternative food systems (LAFS) as an alternative to the conventional industrial agro food complex, considering them as an important part of transformation to sustainability (Maye et al., 2007). With a specific focus on the communication practices emerging from these alternatives, my research explores which communication strategies enhance the transformative potential of LAFS. This requires to understand how framings of sustainable food practices, through different media and instruments, are used in order to popularize LAFS. The way identity is communicated in and outside the network of LAFS arranges the theoretical frame around their communication practices, conceptualizing them as prosumers. Prosumers are perceived as market actors shaping local value chains and expecting in their consumption a piece of their own identity, and are therefore capable of reproducing their values and establish LAFS through their 'prosumption' (Sahin & Dogdubay, 2017). Approaching this from a communication perspective with a specific focus on identity allows to investigate how communication practices lead to the inclusion and exclusion of certain actors, which helps to create a more effective communication to make LAFS more accessible and attractive for a wider public. The first part of the research establishes a typology of sustainability communication within LAFS. Based on a systematic literature review, this considers the effectiveness and effects of different formats, instruments and messages as well as framings, media and communication formats/instruments employed. As second inquiry, the research aims to systematize variations of LAFS as social innovations (e.g. foodsharing, community supported agriculture, wasteless packaging stores, seasonal diets) according to different aspects (e.g. innovation type, social groups involved, identity, inclusion/exclusion). Through its focus on communication, the project contributes to a further understanding of the transformative conditions for social innovations and highlights how alliances between production and consumption can lead to a more sustainable food system.