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A Handbook of Food CrimeImmoral and Illegal Practices in the Food Industry and What to Do About Them$
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Allison Gray and Ronald Hinch

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447336013

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447336013.001.0001

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The social construction of illegality within local food systems

The social construction of illegality within local food systems

(p.43) 3 The social construction of illegality within local food systems
A Handbook of Food Crime

Marcello De Rosa

Ferro Trabalzi

Tiziana Pagnani

Policy Press

This paper analyses the conventions of production within the agrifood sector in Italy, with a case study on Buffalo Mozzarella in southern Italy, to argue that legality and illegality are not universal values, but social constructs which are the product of institutional selection. By analysing three driving forces – territory, entrepreneurship and institutions – the authors argue that the practices of production may be positioned along a legal-illegal continuum, in that producers perceive acts not as opposite to each other, but as possible behaviours along the spectrum of legal or illegal defined practices. This chapter proposes the Evil Trinity, comprised of the three elements of territories, entrepreneurship and institutions, as a model for understanding the process of institutionalisation of (il)legal behaviors, within areas characterised by the endemic presence of organised crime, such as southern Italy.

Keywords:   illegal economies, Evil Trinity, institutions, agrifood system, organised crime

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