Convivial Agriculture: Evolving Food and Farming Activism in South China

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The Chinese community-supported agriculture (CSA) movement is notable for advocating a revival of peasant farming and food sovereignty. For the emerging food politics in China, the main focus is the promotion of “ethical” food in the context of food scares. Currently this promotion often relies overwhelmingly on an emphasis of ethics of trust through certification of food by intermediaries. Yet, there is controversy among CSA activists, who question whether a certifying practice can improve the relationship between consumer and producer. This paper will present an emerging alternative approach within Chinese CSA circles that focuses on strengthening participatory culture within the consumer-producer nexus. To do so, I will shed new light on the experience of food and farming activism in South China since the late 1990s. The main focus is an empirical study of Chengxianghui (CXH), an organisation that operates various consumer-led action groups in Guangzhou. In order to conceptualise the approach by the activists, this paper outlines a normative framework referred to as “convivial agriculture” that is based on the Guangdong-based practice of the Participatory Guarantee System (PGS). The framework aims to recognise and negotiate responsibilities among different actors caring for the “agricultural commons.”
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-38
Number of pages10
JournalChina Perspectives
Issue number2
Early online dateJun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • commons
  • conviviality
  • community-supported agriculture (CSA)
  • ethics of care
  • alternative food network
  • Participatory Guarantee System (PGS)


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