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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jane Midgley
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
This paper explores the practices that have evolved between a global food retailer and a leading charitable surplus food redistributor to enable the utilization of surplus food in community and charitable meal settings in the UK. I argue that to understand surplus food and its potential futures (consumed or wasted), closer engagement with anticipatory thinking is needed. Drawing on interview data with key stakeholders and observations of the food industry redistribution process the paper explores the anticipatory actions taken by different actors as they attempt to manage the possible futures of foods that become categorized as surplus. The paper shows how different market devices are used to manage market concerns about surplus food and work to assure its future consumption. The devices focus on managing the risks of the food becoming unsafe and the associated legal liabilities. The market concerns, as expressions of anticipatory thinking, inform a series of anticipatory practices throughout the redistribution process to enable all actors, and especially the Retailer, to trust in the process. The paper concludes by noting how reliant the redistribution process is on anticipatory practices, especially pre-emption and improvisation to make the process workable, but also how these work to contain the various concerns within market arrangements. The paper highlights the importance of anticipation as a theoretical basis for exploring surplus food and the concept of surplus more widely.
Author(s): Midgley JL
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Print publication date: 01/02/2019
Online publication date: 25/09/2018
Acceptance date: 13/09/2018
Date deposited: 14/09/2018
ISSN (print): 1872-9398
ISSN (electronic): 0016-7185
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Notes: Presented at AAG 2017, accepted as part of a special issue on urban food sharing.
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