29 July 2021 News

Otsuki, K. (2014). Social economy of quality food. International Journal of Social Economics 41: 233-243

This paper aims to examine the implications of the efforts to promote a quality-oriented economy that incorporates a vision of environmental sustainability and equitable social development.
The analysis builds on a case study of food procurement in Brazil, which intended to improve the quality of food used in public schools. The case study follows ways that the promotion of quality food has localised the procurement operation, connecting smallholders to citizen-consumers.
The efforts to promote quality food procurement worked to shape reflexive governance in a decentralised political environment and create an institutional device based on cooperative civic participation and state engagement. However, this process highlighted socioeconomic inequality within the country due to uneven local capacities to connect good-quality services to the citizens’ everyday places. The study identifies the following paths to tackle this unevenness: improvement of place-based infrastructure; promotion of trans-local cooperation; and building on the existing informal institutional arrangements.