Selective patronage and social justice: Local food consumer campaigns in historical context

C. Clare Hinrichs, Patricia Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the early 2000s, the development of local food systems in advanced industrial countries has expanded beyond creation and support of farmers' markets and community supported agriculture farms and projects to include targeted Buy Local Food campaigns. Non-governmental groups in many U.S. places and regions have launched such campaigns with the intent of motivating and directing consumers toward more local food purchasing in general. This article examines the current manifestations and possibilities for social justice concerns in Buy Local Food campaigns, by considering them within the more general category of "selective patronage" campaigns. Historical campaign examples, such as Buy Union, Buy American, and Buy Black campaigns, offer instructive comparisons to contemporary consumer campaigns promoting local food. Through examining the construction of threats, intended beneficiaries, products to be avoided, and those to be preferentially selected, the paper demonstrates how selective patronage campaigns have emphasized social justice needs and concerns for designated groups in ways that have been potentially exclusionary of other disadvantaged groups and thus undermining of social justice more broadly. As a contemporary instance of "selective patronage," Buy Local Food campaigns exhibit similar contradictory impulses, which are intensified by the conceptual and practical pitfalls in designating "local." The article concludes by considering how the challenges and prospects for commitments to social justice in local food consumer campaigns reinforce the importance of emerging initiatives centered on domestic fair trade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-352
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

social justice
Social Justice
Food
food
domestic trade
community supported agriculture
local food systems
farmers' markets
food purchasing
developed countries
early development
farms
Vulnerable Populations
Purchasing
Patronage
Historical Context
Agriculture
Farms
farm
agriculture

Keywords

  • Buy American
  • Buy Black
  • Buy Union
  • Ethical consumption
  • Local food system
  • Selective patronage
  • Social justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • History
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Selective patronage and social justice : Local food consumer campaigns in historical context. / Hinrichs, C. Clare; Allen, Patricia.

In: Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, Vol. 21, No. 4, 01.08.2008, p. 329-352.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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