Social innovation and connection strategies of alternative food networks - This paper is discussing the social innovation represented by the alternative food networks in Italy. With reference to the scientific debate, the analysis is foSummaries cussed on three main issues: the diversity of the networks, their common principles and the strategies of inter-connection among the different networks. These networks are based on the development of direct relationships between producers and consumers and on processes of food re-localisation. They counteract the dominant agro-food system by promoting quality products distributed through short chains. The emerging inter-connection between the various collective practices linked to the question of food production is interpreted as an alternative globalization. Initiatives promoted by peasant organizations of Latin American, African and Asian countries tend to be reinforced by the connection with the alternative practices of food producers and reflexive consumers of Western countries.
Key words: social innovation; alternative food networks; peasant agriculture; short chains; critical consumers; inter-connection.