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Retailers, knowledges and changing commodity networks: The case of the cut flower trade

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alexandra Hughes


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This paper presents a theory-inflected consideration of how UK retailers play an active role in shaping the character of the international cut flower trade. More particularly, the centrality of knowledge to this role is examined. It is suggested that the metaphor of the network most effectively captures the vast webs of interdependent relationships that constitute the trade in cut flowers, while the metaphor of the circuit is used to understand the flow of knowledge through this network. The development and application of business knowledge by UK retailers, in the context of exchange relationships with flower producers in Kenya, is discussed. The author's preliminary field interviews with these agents are drawn upon, in order to demonstrate how the power of retailers to influence change in the cut flower trade hinges on their capacity to adapt complex networks in their favour and to circulate particular kinds of knowledge around these networks. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hughes A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geoforum

Year: 2000

Volume: 31

Issue: 2

Pages: 175-190

Print publication date: 01/05/2000

ISSN (print): 0016-7185

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9398


DOI: 10.1016/S0016-7185(99)00034-2


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