Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to understand why the quality markets are expanding in some areas of food production, while struggling in others. Across agricultural markets in advanced industrialized economies, there are movements toward quality production and consumption. The author argues that the quality turn in beer, coffee, wine and other transformed artisanal food production are fundamentally different from the quality movements in primary food products. The heart of that difference lies in the nature of the supply chain advantages of transformed versus primary agricultural products. Design/methodology/approach The author applies convention theory to explain the dynamics within transformed agricultural quality markets. In these producer-dominant markets, networks of branded producers shape consumer notions of product quality, creating competitive quality feedback loops. The author contrasts this with the consumer-dominant markets for perishable foods such as produce, eggs, dairy and meat. Here, politically constructed short supply chains play a central role in building quality food systems. Findings The emergence of quality in primary food products is linked to the strength of local political organization, and consumers have a greater role in shaping quality in these markets. Originality/value Quality beer, coffee, wine and other transformed products can emerge without active political intervention, whereas quality markets for perishable foods are the outcome of political action. Peer review The peer review history for this article is available at: https://publons.com/publon/10.1108/ IJSE-01-2020-0001.


Authors

Carter, Elizabeth

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  • 1 reviewer
  • pre-publication peer review (FINAL ROUND)
    Decision Letter
    2020/04/22

    22-Apr-2020

    Dear Elizabeth
    It is a pleasure to accept your manuscript IJSE-01-2020-0001.R1, entitled "Desperately Seeking Happy Chickens: Producer dynamics and consumer politics in quality agricultural supply chains" in its current form for publication in International Journal of Social Economics. Please note, no further changes can be made to your manuscript.

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    Dr. Stefan Mann
    Guest Editor, International Journal of Social Economics
    stefan.mann@agroscope.admin.ch

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    Author Response
    2020/04/10

    Dear Editors,

    Thank you for your reviews. I have attached here a revised manuscript.

    Reviewer #1 was satisfied with the manuscript, but reviewer #2 asked for revisions primarily related to methodology and data analysis.

    It appears that there was some confusion regarding my methodology. Reviewer #2 asked me to justify why I chose to research chicken specifically, and to restructure my paper to pull out my broiler-based research. While I do refer to chickens in the title, I do not conduct primary research on broilers. Rather broilers are examples among the many case studies I cite in the article. In response to this confusion, I have created a new subsection, “Overview and Methodology”, to provide a clearer roadmap for the reader. I have also elaborated on my methodological choices. I am hoping that this makes clearer to the reader that while my interviews (primarily on wine) informed my theory, the purpose of the article is to demonstrate theoretical validity using a wide array of examples (which includes chickens among other examples).

    I hope that this clarification in methodology addresses other concerns, including data collection, and structure of paper. For example, I cannot restructure the article into a section of literature review followed by an analysis of my interviews, as the bulk of my cases come from published empirical sources. Similarly, it doesn’t make sense for me to justify the case of chickens ("instead of other examples"), when the chicken case studies are just examples of the many empirical studies I analyze.

    Sincerely,
    Elizabeth

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  • pre-publication peer review (ROUND 1)
    Decision Letter
    2020/04/06

    06-Apr-2020

    Dear Dr. Carter:

    Manuscript ID IJSE-01-2020-0001 entitled "Desperately Seeking Happy Chickens: Producer dynamics and consumer politics in quality agricultural supply chains" which you submitted to the International Journal of Social Economics, has been reviewed. The comments of the reviewers are included at the bottom of this letter.

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    Once again, thank you for submitting your manuscript to the International Journal of Social Economics and I look forward to receiving your revision.

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    Dr. Stefan Mann
    Guest Editor, International Journal of Social Economics
    stefan.mann@agroscope.admin.ch

    Reviewer(s)' Comments to Author:
    Reviewer: 1

    Recommendation: Accept

    Comments:
    Nice paper!

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper contain new and significant information adequate to justify publication?: Yes.

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored?: Yes.

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts, or other ideas? Has the research or equivalent intellectual work on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate?: Yes.

    Results: Are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: Yes.

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: yes.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the field and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: Yes.

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?:

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    Reviewer: 2

    Recommendation: Major Revision

    Comments:
    It is an interesting paper but some clarifications on the methodology and data analysis; and better organization of sections are necessary in order to be accepted for publication.

    Additional Questions:
    Originality: Does the paper contain new and significant information adequate to justify publication?: Yes

    Relationship to Literature: Does the paper demonstrate an adequate understanding of the relevant literature in the field and cite an appropriate range of literature sources? Is any significant work ignored?: Yes

    Methodology: Is the paper's argument built on an appropriate base of theory, concepts, or other ideas? Has the research or equivalent intellectual work on which the paper is based been well designed? Are the methods employed appropriate?: Methodology is explained in the introduction but does not reflect how the data is collected and analyzed in the body of the manuscript.

    Results: Are results presented clearly and analysed appropriately? Do the conclusions adequately tie together the other elements of the paper?: Because the relationship between the methodology and data analysis is not clearly explained, it is difficult to understand what results are derived from which sources. I'd rather recommend that first the paper reviews literature on different quality markets in relation to supply chain or demand-driven markets; and then highlight the importance of consumer politics (as it is done now); then, introduce a case study of broiler supply chain based on the author's field research/ interviewing as suggested in the introduction. It is also important to justify why broiler as an example of agro-food supply chain and influence of consumer politics...

    Implications for research, practice and/or society: Does the paper identify clearly any implications for research, practice and/or society? Does the paper bridge the gap between theory and practice? How can the research be used in practice (economic and commercial impact), in teaching, to influence public policy, in research (contributing to the body of knowledge)? What is the impact upon society (influencing public attitudes, affecting quality of life)? Are these implications consistent with the findings and conclusions of the paper?: Mostly yes, but it will be good if the author clarifies why 'chickens' instead of other fresh produce; and again the ways that the argument is derived from original field research.

    Quality of Communication: Does the paper clearly express its case, measured against the technical language of the field and the expected knowledge of the journal's readership? Has attention been paid to the clarity of expression and readability, such as sentence structure, jargon use, acronyms, etc.: To some extent, yes. I like the general direction of the discussions and I understand the paper's argument but some clarification is needed. Also, I recommend the author to use subtitles more effectively to divide currently rather large sections according to literature-based discussions and interview/primary research-based discussions.

    Reproducible Research: If appropriate, is sufficient information, potentially including data and software, provided to reproduce the results and are the corresponding datasets formally cited?: Again, because methodology and data analysis are not clearly explained, the research's replicability is very low.

    This journal is participating in Publons Transparent Peer Review. By reviewing for this journal, you agree that your finished report, along with the author’s responses and the Editor’s decision letter, will be linked to from the published article to where they appear on Publons, if the paper is accepted. If you have any concerns about participating in the Transparent Peer Review pilot, please reach out to the journal’s Editorial office. Please indicate below, whether you would like your name to appear with your report on Publons by indicating yes or no. All peer review content displayed here will be covered by a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 license.: No, I would not like my name to appear with my report on Publons

    Decision letter by
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    Reviewer report
    2020/04/06

    It is an interesting paper but some clarifications on the methodology and data analysis; and better organization of sections are necessary in order to be accepted for publication.

    Reviewed by
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    Reviewer report
    2020/01/22

    Nice paper!

    Reviewed by
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