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Values of Quality in ‘Natural’ Wine Production – The study of ‘natural’ wine in Germany

Maximilian Hågård Brown (2021)

MA thesis. Uppsala: University of Uppsala

Abstract. The current food production system based on a globalized network of economic efficiency and productivity relies on resource intensive production methods that are often environmentally destructive and unsustainable. Therefore, a growing body of research seeks to understand how different alternative food networks (AFNs) are potentially shaping new approaches to agriculture and our relationship to food in order to combat the current environmental crisis. The ‘Natural’ wine movement (NWM) positions itself as an alternative food network with the potential to shape new conventions of quality in contrast to mainstream forms of industrial food production. In this study, I investigate the values of ‘natural’ wine producers (NWPs) in Germany in order to understand what conventions of quality they associate with food production. In order to interpret the values of the NWPs, I conducted semi-structured interviews along with the application of the conventions theory framework. The findings of the study show that the NWPs in Germany share values associated with environmental sustainability, transparency, and artisanal expression.

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