Rural Europe Redux? Reflections on Alternative Agro-Food Networks and Paradigm Change



This paper examines some recent analyses of alternative agro-food networks (AAFNs) and claims that these innovative modes of food provisioning are emblematic of a new rural development paradigm in Western Europe. A political-economic critique of the territorialised, farm-centric value added strategies underlying these claims suggests that this characterisation is overdrawn and premature. The neglect of the consumption side of the rural development equation also argues for a more modest assessment of AAFNs and their paradigmatic potential.