Topic: Structural changes in food systems through civic food networks. Conflicts, challenges and opportunities in negotiating alternative food practices in South Tyrol, IT.
Keywords: Civic Food Network, social movement, food governance triangle, Movement
Action Plan (MAP), social movement strategy
The notion of “Civic Food Networks” (CFN) highlights the importance of the civil society for introducing structural changes in the agri-food system. I argue that the transformative
power of CFNs reinforces if it takes on the character of a social movement. I will investigate this assumption relating to the case of a Civic Food Network fighting for the prohibition of pesticides in the municipality of Mals, Italy. First, I will present a strategic and processual model of changing food governance through active citizen’s engagement drawing on the food governance model by Renting et al. (2012) and social movement theory. Based on this model, I will analyze the CFN’s social movement character by identifying the main stakeholder groups in the sphere of state, market and civil society, their goals and action, and the outcomes of the movement in four different stages. Subsequently, I will focus on the dynamic interplay of the movements stakeholders playing different roles at different stages of the movement. The main result is that the movement’s success is due to the dynamic interplay of the actors within and ouside the movement that is marked by conflict and collaboration.