Stiftelsen för forskning inom områden med anknytning till Östersjöregionen och Östeuropa

Organizing REKO: The Viability of a Local Food System in Finland, Sweden & Latvia

Ämne: Business Studies, Organizational Communication
Projektledare: Daniel Lövgren
Startår: 2023
Projekttyp: Projekt
Beviljade medel: 5 651 000 kr

The production and consumption of local food is often advocated as an alternative to the unsustainable global and industrial food system. REKO has rapidly been established as an innovative alternative for both production and consumption of local food via digital and physical activities. It was established in Finland 2013 and has since proven a successful recipe for local food, with Sweden joining a similar development in 2016. Recently there is budding activity in Latvia. REKO is, however, not a formal organization – there are, for example, no formal leaders, guiding documents, or stated identity – and can be described as an informal and loose social formation where producers and consumers interact without intermediaries, using Facebook and physical meetings places called pick-ups. The purpose of this project is to explore what makes REKO viable in three variously mature contexts in the Baltic Sea Region: Finland, Sweden, and Latvia. For this purpose we adopt the theory of organizationality – a communication based view on how loose social formations achieve degrees of “organization-ness” through interconnected processes of identity, actorhood and decision-making – and theorizing of place. From an ethnographic approach, we select five local REKO rings (2 in Finland, 2 in Sweden, and 1 in Latvia) to study online interactions, documents, and to perform 17 observations and 50 interviews.