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CHEFS: Food, Economic Imaginaries, and Entrepreneurship

5 October 2022 @ 08:00 - 17:00

This session is open to all staff; Mid Career Researchers (MCRs); Early Career Researchers (ECRs); Supervisors; Post Graduate Research Students (PGRs);

The CHEFS (Culture, Health, Environment, Food and Society) research group at Sheffield Hallam University is delighted to host a series of online research talks exploring the socio-cultural dimensions of food and drink. Talks are open to all—local and global, students and staff, practitioners and public. Please feel free to share widely with your networks.

Paired Papers Session: Food, Economic Imaginaries, and Entrepreneurship

This session will feature two talks:

Why taste dealers matter: authenticity and distinctiveness among food truck operators

Presenter: Alessandro Gerosa (University of Birmingham)

Abstract: This talk will explore how Italian gourmet food truck operators – in the guise of intermediaries of taste between macroeconomic imaginaries and individual consumers – concretely produce claims of authenticity for omnivorous seekers. Based on ethnographic research composed of 20 semi-structured interviews with food truck micro-entrepreneurs, the talk will focus on three main implications. First, the adoption of the perspective of food truck operators highlights the reflexive and market-bounded nature of omnivorous taste reproduction. Moreover, authenticity emerges as a relational quality, possessing a clear normative dimension on players under the street food – and more in general the neo-craft – economic imaginary. Finally, the centrality of regionalism in the Italian production of authenticity suggests that localism, too, has been subsumed by global food imaginaries and expresses a cosmopolitan attitude: “gourmet” food must be authentic to be recognised by omnivores and distinctive – through exoticism or localism – to be successful on markets. Together, these contributions point toward the relevance of ‘the context of context’ in consumer studies, suggesting the usefulness to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the cultural political economy at play behind the formation of taste.

Organic food micro producers’ share in neoendegenous local development – case of Croatia

Presenter: Jasmina Božić (University of Zagreb)

Abstract: The talk will present results of qualitative research conducted by semi-structured interviews with twenty-nine micro entrepreneurs in organic production of fruits and vegetables from all the twenty Croatian counties and the City of Zagreb. The results indicated self-help as the currently prevalent mode of production, which reflected in both motivations for entering in organic agriculture, and in daily mode of operation of the micro entrepreneurs. As we were interested in how the currently practised self-help could be brought closer to development based on neondegenous principles, our analysis went beyond the level of individual motivations, beliefs and ways of self-presentation, and encompassed participants’ involvement in sectoral associations and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups, as well as their engagement in inter-sectoral partnerships, such as Local Action Groups (LAGs). We also inquired into producers’ marketing and distribution practices, as well as their relations with customers. Presenting a summary of participants’ perspectives on these various aspects of their entrepreneurship, the talk will try to outline a panoramic view of micro organic production of fruits and vegetables in Croatia, and draw some policy implications, hopefully facilitating smoother transition from the currently prevalent self-help towards development based on neoendogenous principles premised on stronger multi-level, inter-organizational and inter-sectoral linkages.

To attend the session, please use the Zoom joining link available at https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/chefscluster/chefs-online-research-talks/

Previous event recordings available at https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/chefscluster/past-talks/

RDF sub-domain(s):  A1 – Knowledge Base; B3 – Professional and Career Development; D2 – Communication and Dissemination;


5 October 2022
08:00 - 17:00
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