Event Title

Safe food, green food, good food : Chinese community supported agriculture and the rising middle class

Presenter Information

Yan SHI Dr., Tsinghua University

Start Date

9-12-2012 5:00 PM

End Date

9-12-2012 6:15 PM

Description

The growth of China’s middle class is driving an expansion of interest in ‘green’ and sustainable food, food that is perceived to be healthy, safe and environmentally friendly. Self-consciously ‘sustainable’ agriculture is a new phenomenon in China, but it has emerged from, and builds upon, an agrarian history that is markedly different from that of the West. In this paper, we address the relationship between the Chinese middle class, an overwhelmingly urban group, and Chinese sustainable agriculture, a largely urban-oriented enterprise, from the perspective of our work in establishing and operating Beijing’s first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. We discuss the farm’s environmental and institutional sustainability, situating its development within the larger context of contemporary Chinese agriculture, and we examine the potential for future success with CSA models in China based on evidence from this case.

Recommended Citation

Shi, Y. (2012, December). Safe food, green food, good food: Chinese community supported agriculture and the rising middle class. Paper presented at 2012 International Conference on Sustainability & Rural Reconstruction, Southwest University, Chongqing, China.

 
Dec 9th, 5:00 PM Dec 9th, 6:15 PM

Safe food, green food, good food : Chinese community supported agriculture and the rising middle class

The growth of China’s middle class is driving an expansion of interest in ‘green’ and sustainable food, food that is perceived to be healthy, safe and environmentally friendly. Self-consciously ‘sustainable’ agriculture is a new phenomenon in China, but it has emerged from, and builds upon, an agrarian history that is markedly different from that of the West. In this paper, we address the relationship between the Chinese middle class, an overwhelmingly urban group, and Chinese sustainable agriculture, a largely urban-oriented enterprise, from the perspective of our work in establishing and operating Beijing’s first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. We discuss the farm’s environmental and institutional sustainability, situating its development within the larger context of contemporary Chinese agriculture, and we examine the potential for future success with CSA models in China based on evidence from this case.