The role of voluntary food co-operatives in the retail marketplace: some theoretical considerations
Abstract:Voluntary food co-operatives (VFCs) remain a relatively under researched area of academic enquiry. However they represent an important form of retail provision for particular groups in the community. This paper puts forward a theoretical framework that attempts to conceptualize the role and purpose of VFCs. Drawing upon Resource-Advantage (RA) theory it maintains that VFCs are the outcome of competitive market processes. Their importance lies in the provision of goods and services to a neglected segment of the population. The paper argues that VFCs are neither a form of unfair competition, nor do they prevent the development of new forms of retailing. Rather VFCs represent a proactive response to the exclusion of particular groups from the marketplace.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2003