Call for papers special issue of Organization: Fruits of Labour: Work and Organization in the Global Food System
Work undertaken to produce food is one of the most fundamental and ancient forms of labour human beings must engage in to survive and flourish. It is not surprising, therefore, that much of the academic focus on food work has been on primary forms, i.e. ‘on’ rather than ‘off’ the land. Thus, there are many studies of peasant labour, of the transitions caused by industrialization and mechanization of farming, of the role of migrant labour on the land. Yet, remarkably less attention has been given to the broader range of food labour – despite the revolution in length, complexity, control and technology of food work in the 20th century. As societies have industrialized and urbanized, food remains perplexingly hidden to most of us (Li, 2011). The need for consumers to understand these processes bubbles up from time to time. It was forcefully brought home, for instance, by the horsemeat scandal that gripped Europe in 2012. Scandals such as these have spawned a range of consumer and policy reactions, from skepticism to changed behaviour to moments of renewed interest in the production and regulation of food production.