Professors Shyon Baumann and Josée Johnston publish “How do producers imagine consumers?”

October 19, 2022 by Shreeya Lamba

Congratulations to Professor Shyon Baumann and Professor Josée Johnston for their new peer-reviewed article titled, “How do producers imagine consumers? Connecting farm and fork through a cultural repertoire of consumer sovereignty,” published in Sociologia Ruralis. The article is co-authored with Merin Oleschuk at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne.

In the article, Baumann and Johnston use interviews and site visits with people engaged in the ethical meat system in Canada. In their interactions, they question the role of consumers in the industry, and find that consumers are often considered to be the largest force for food system change. Baumann and Johnston make both conceptual and empirical arguments to explain the presence of consumers in the cultural imaginary of meat producers. The article adds to existing scholarship surrounding consumer-driven models of food system change. 

This paper is part of a larger book project on the meat industry. The book explores data on meat consumers, meat producers, and news media and advertising about meat. The book is being written collaboratively with Merin Oleschuk, and Emily Kennedy at UBC. It will examine how consumers think and feel about meat eating, and also how ethical meat producers understand their role in the food system, including their motivations and goals.