Investigated is the premise that co-operative organisational structures, for reasons of their long-term socially responsible origins are at the forefront of development of local and sustainable food systems and are thereby in a position to offer a specific contribution to sustainable business development. To this end retail co-operation is highlighted because of its ideals: member mutualism and community/stakeholder centred business (Hingley, 2010; Novkovic, 2008); with the focus on retailer cooperative businesses in Europe. The context of the paper is in the supply of local and sustainable food, and retailer cooperatives as their entry points within local conditions. Emphasis is on localised food networks and connection between environmentally as well as socially sustainable production, distribution and consumption (Duffy et al, 2005; Jones et al, 2004; Weatherell et al, 2003). Two key research questions are proposed: Does the co-operative organisational structure and ethos contribute specifically and uniquely to sustainable local food marketing? Secondly, do European retailer co-operatives express support for relocalising food systems; and what contribution do they make concerning sustainable food and their relationships with local food suppliers? The paper is structured in the following way. The concept and context of sustainability in food production, marketing and distributive systems is explored; and an understanding of the importance of the definition of local food outlined. The historical and contextual development and business orientation of retailer co-operatives is investigated, specifically concerning their impact on ethical and socially oriented business, which has reached more recent attention as a business model and philosophy under the guise of Corporate Social Responsibility- CSR. This study makes a contribution to knowledge concerning the role of co-operatives and the co-operative ethos in sustainable food system production and development of the local food economy; and thereby a positive contribution to (most notably) sustainable communities. Co-operative ethos concerning responsible and ethical behaviour is to the fore in co-operative retailer chains in the two European countries investigated, and this corroborates prior studies linking the distinct inclination and contribution of co-operative retail businesses in building and maintaining community networks/social responsibility and so forth; via support for local food networks (Hingley, 2010).

The co-operative business ethos: It’s contribution to sustainable local food supply An investigation of retailer co-operatives in Finland and Italy

CANAVARI, MAURIZIO;ASIOLI, DANIELE
2011

Abstract

Investigated is the premise that co-operative organisational structures, for reasons of their long-term socially responsible origins are at the forefront of development of local and sustainable food systems and are thereby in a position to offer a specific contribution to sustainable business development. To this end retail co-operation is highlighted because of its ideals: member mutualism and community/stakeholder centred business (Hingley, 2010; Novkovic, 2008); with the focus on retailer cooperative businesses in Europe. The context of the paper is in the supply of local and sustainable food, and retailer cooperatives as their entry points within local conditions. Emphasis is on localised food networks and connection between environmentally as well as socially sustainable production, distribution and consumption (Duffy et al, 2005; Jones et al, 2004; Weatherell et al, 2003). Two key research questions are proposed: Does the co-operative organisational structure and ethos contribute specifically and uniquely to sustainable local food marketing? Secondly, do European retailer co-operatives express support for relocalising food systems; and what contribution do they make concerning sustainable food and their relationships with local food suppliers? The paper is structured in the following way. The concept and context of sustainability in food production, marketing and distributive systems is explored; and an understanding of the importance of the definition of local food outlined. The historical and contextual development and business orientation of retailer co-operatives is investigated, specifically concerning their impact on ethical and socially oriented business, which has reached more recent attention as a business model and philosophy under the guise of Corporate Social Responsibility- CSR. This study makes a contribution to knowledge concerning the role of co-operatives and the co-operative ethos in sustainable food system production and development of the local food economy; and thereby a positive contribution to (most notably) sustainable communities. Co-operative ethos concerning responsible and ethical behaviour is to the fore in co-operative retailer chains in the two European countries investigated, and this corroborates prior studies linking the distinct inclination and contribution of co-operative retail businesses in building and maintaining community networks/social responsibility and so forth; via support for local food networks (Hingley, 2010).
The impact of globalization on networks and relationship dynamics
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29
Hingley M.; Mikkola M.; Canavari M.; Asioli D.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/108258
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