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The unique qualities of organic foods: an ethnography of participatory certification practices

Grant number: 19/04868-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2019
Effective date (End): August 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology - Rural Anthropology
Principal researcher:Joana Cabral de Oliveira
Grantee:Felipe Peregrina Puga
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The increasing demand for organic products and, hence, the need for quality compliance certification of such products and processes has raised issues that cross previously stabilized frontiers. This master's project aims to understand the process of participatory certification of organic production from an anthropological perspective, seeking to understand how the so-called organic quality is produced by articulating a set of technical, agronomic, and "popular" practices and knowledge aligned with the performance of legislations, producer associations, research institutions and public policies. This proposal seeks to investigate how the intertwining of this range of entities is related to each other and enables the production of the existence of organic products through the certification of production systems and the authorization of organic compliance certification to producers associated with certification bodies. Thus, it seeks to describe the certification process as a moment of ontological shift of all the entities (be they human or nonhuman) contained during such event, which concludes with the reports, evaluations and opinions issued by the certifiers.

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