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The 'conventionalisation' thesis reconsidered : structural and ideological transformation of Australian organic agriculture
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Stewart LockieStewart Lockie, D Halpin
Contemporary narratives on organic food and agriculture are almost inevitably tales of extraordinary growth (see Michelson 2001a). In the UK, for example, Smith and Marsden (2003) report a ninefold increase in the area of land certified for organic production between 1996 and 2000. For many, the practical possibilities offered by the organic sector to supply food untainted by agrichemicals, genetically-modified organisms and other ‘unnatural’ technologies provides compelling evidence of growing consumer and producer resistance to the risks they associate with agri-industrial production methods (Kaltoft 2001). For others, the possibilities offered by the organic sector to resist the erasure of tradition, community and place associated with agri-industrialisation speak to conceptions of food quality that extend beyond the physical and chemical composition of foodstuffs (Goodman 1999; Pugliese 2001; Smith and Marsden 2003). Organic agriculture—along with a range of other alternative agricultural and food movements—is seen to produce foods that are not only good to eat, but good to think. This is not to suggest that organic agriculture is without its critics. Some accuse the organic industry of everything from fraudulent environmental and food safety claims to endangering food security and biodiversity (see Lockie, forthcoming). Nevertheless, the dominant framings of organic food and farming are of a sector that is fundamentally counterpoised against the homogeneity, placelessness, artificiality, blandness and threats of industrially-produced foods and global brands (Lockie, forthcoming).
Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)
Number of Pages24