Culture, Conventions, and Colonial Constructs of Rurality in South-North Horticultural Trades

Susanne Freidberg
Publication Date: 
This paper draws on comparative social history and convention theory to examine current transformations in the contemporary Anglophone and Francophone fresh vegetable trades between Africa and Europe.
In the 1990s both British and later French supermarkets adopted codes defining standards of food safety, agricultural best practice and, in the UK, ethical trade. As conventions, these standards represent corporate efforts not only to assure but also profit from an increasingly comprehensive notion of food quality.These standards also promise to drive changes in retailers international fresh produce supply chains, but not uniformly.Comparative historical analysis of French and English conventions, as they apply to African fresh produce commodity chains, provides insight into the interplay between place, culture, and national and international political economies.