The pandemic shed light on the already glaring shortcomings of our elongated conventional food system. Some seek to address the complexity and distance introduced into the food system between production and consumption by developing and participating in alternative food networks. Among them are organic farmers exploring direct selling initiatives to reduce the degree of separation from the end consumer, especially urban consumers. This paper is focused on this section of organic food producers located in Delhi NCR (National Capital Region) in India who are actively seeking participation in short food supply chains. Drawing on data collected through interviews with organic food producers, the paper highlights how they were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It shows the advantages and challenges of relying on direct selling against the backdrop of a pandemic and government-mandated social distancing. The discussion is situated at the intersection of literature on alternative food networks (AFNs), short food supply chains (SFSCs), and proximity. The paper examines the critical role of geographical and relational proximity within short food supply chains of value-laden AFN products as the pandemic revealed its own set of challenges to the agri-food supply chain.
How to Cite
Delhi NCR, COVID-19, organic food, direct selling, alternative food networks
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