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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Tuning stakeholder expectations in organic strawberry production - A sixteen-year case study of co-development of a strawberry knowledge network in California

Kalaitzoglou, Konstantinos; Muramoto, J. Joji; Dubois, Alexandre; Shennan, Carol; Tasin, Marco


Californian strawberry growers have been relying on methyl bromide for several decades. Notwithstanding the substantial dependence on this broad-spectrum biocide, a phase out was planned due to its ozone layer depleting character. With the aim to meet sustainability issues facing the emerging organic strawberry producers and reinforce the interaction among local actors, a research network was developed through 2004-2020.In this paper we investigated the factors affecting the creation and dissemination of knowledge within the above-mentioned multi-year network. Embeddedness in agro-food networks is the framework that we chose, while from an empirical point of view we analyzed a case study with many available datasets.We observed a progressive build-up of trust among people throughout the sixteen years. The shared activities and the already established relationship provided the base of this strong networking. Furthermore, innovative methods emerging from network activities provided critical information and management approaches for expanding organic production in the region.Relational embeddedness explains the observed performance, whereas a complementary role seems to be played by the structural aspect of the same framework at the regional level.The facilitation function by a university within a participatory method, the unique role of advisors along with the connection to the industry contributed to the reinforcement of the network allowing new ways of stable multi-year co-operation.


Alternative food networks; Embeddedness; Knowledge creation; Knowledge dissemination; Participatory action research

Published in

Journal of Cleaner Production
2021, volume: 323, article number: 129192

Authors' information

Kalaitzoglou, Konstantinos
No organisation
Muramoto, J. Joji
University of California Santa Cruz
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Urban and Rural Development
Shennan, Carol
University of California Santa Cruz
Tasin, Marco
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology
Tasin, Marco
University of Padua

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Communication Studies
Business Administration

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)