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Beyond the small/large divide? Hybrid (and controversial) spaces in the food system.

In the last weeks, there have been in Valencia two food-related news that have given rise to confronted opinions. Some days ago, Carrefour Valencia initiated a campaign to make visible the food products it sells from Valencian small and medium food enterprises. This makes part of the company’s policy regarding its provisioning with local food from this kind of businesses (https://www.carrefour.es/grupo-carrefour/productos-locales/productos-regionales-de-pymes-espanolas/). This week, a regional newspaper informed about the ongoing negotiation between the association small food shops of the Central Market of Valencia (https://www.mercadocentralvalencia.es/) and the company Amazon to explore the possibility of selling their products through the e-commerce system of the transnational company. The Central Market is a market place with traditional small food shops offering high quality and mostly local products,

These news have provoked confronted reactions. For some, they are about initiatives allowing SFB to reach more potential consumers (and vice versa). Similar experiences in other parts of Spain have increased SFB’ turnover (http://www.abc.es/espana/madrid/abci-mercado-primero-mundo-elegido-amazon-para-hacer-entregas-rapidas-201609291056_noticia.html). For others, they are examples of how large transnational companies are coopting alternative and non-conventional spaces of the food system to gain control over other businesses and consumers, which would be both losing autonomy. Moreover, from this perspective, this kind of initiatives would be weakening the social interaction between SFB and consumers.

What is evident in any case, is that the divide between small and large, local and non-local diffuses, giving rise to hybrid (and controversial) spaces.


PS. sorry, the web pages are in Spanish