Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 121–132 | Cite as

From “Food from Nowhere” to “Food from Here:” changing producer–consumer relations in Austria

  • Markus Schermer


The notion of a “third food regime” implies simultaneous processes of further global concentration and integration and at the same time resistance through new emerging producer–consumer relations. This paper examines these processes by looking at Austria over the last 30 years. While direct producer–consumer cooperatives established at an early point, today forms of community supported agriculture (CSA) are rare. This paper explains this by identifying a shift of the entire food system from “food from nowhere” to “food from here.” The account follows the early emergence of alternative food networks through the political appeal to consumer patriotism in connection with Austria joining the EU, to a sustained positioning of retail chains with regional and national food products. The paper argues that this satisfies the needs of a large proportion of consumers and discourages the emergence of new food initiatives. The paper follows the development of different approaches and their transformations until today. Thus a picture evolves of changing, and partly progressing consumer–producer relations in response to wider societal and political transformation processes. The results explain why the movement towards CSA is currently weak in Austria, but demonstrate at the same time how alternative food networks may contribute to a transformation of the food system.


Food regime Consumer–producer relations Austria Agri-food system Civic food networks 



Association de maintien de l’agriculture paysanne (Association in support of smallholder Agriculture)


Agricultural marketing board of Austria


Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft Umwelt und Wasserschutz (Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture)


Bovine spongiform encephalopathy


Common Agricultural Policy


Community supported agriculture


European Union


Österreichische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für eigenständige Regionalentwicklung (Austrian Association for Endogenous Development)


Österreichische Bergbauernvereinigung (Austrian Hill Farmers Association)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mountain Agriculture Research Unit, Department of SociologyUniverstät InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

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