Polanyian Protective Countermovements: The Case of Organic Producers in Canada
Models of sustainable agriculture are a reaction to perceived negative consequences arising from the current agricultural model. Organic certification systems are market instruments that prohibit certain agricultural practices and inputs that organic proponents consider harmful for society and the environment. The dynamic of the free market creating harmful consequences and social actors trying to reduce those consequences has been conceptualized as a “double movement” by Karl Polanyi. This thesis asks whether Canadian certified organic producers show a Polanyian reaction to the negative economic, social and environmental impacts of agricultural markets. Data was collected from certified Canadian organic farmers through an online survey. The analysis of survey results shows that many surveyed organic producers had diverse Polanyian reactions to a variety of identified consequences.