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Contributors: Smeds, Josefin (Lund University)

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Passionate about food and agriculture, both in theory and in practice. Currently researching alternative food networks in Romania and how they can challenge the conventional capitalist food system. MSc in International Development and Management at Lund University, Sweden.

Scientific paper contribution: Growing through the Cracks – A multi-case study of Alternative Food Networks in Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Abstract: As a response to limitations of the conventional food system, alternative food networks such as community supported agriculture have merged in Romania, involving close producer-consumer connections and an emphasis on local, organic produce. Through a multi-case study in the city of Cluj-Napoca, their contribution to a sustainable food paradigm has been explored. An important synergy within the networks is how good food is equated with peasant produce. The networks are becoming embedded through an intrinsic focus on community in one case and through good quality food stimulating good relations in the other case. They contribute to a sustainable food paradigm by promoting agroecology, reclaiming socio-cultural factors of food provisioning, and being part of a (re)peasantisation process. To contribute further to a paradigm shift, the question is if the involved actors can foster closer alliances, further emphasise socio-cultural aspects of agri-food as well as recognise the broader politics in their actions.