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Organic StruggleThe Movement for Sustainable Agriculture in the United States$
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Brian K. Obach

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780262029094

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262029094.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Organic Struggle

Brian K. Obach

The MIT Press

The major themes addressed in the book are summarized including how political and economic conditions shaped the sustainable agriculture movement and how the movement developed organizationally. Structural conditions during the first decades of the movement steered organic proponents towards a market-based reform strategy that relied upon private certification systems. Over time this decentralized grassroots movement developed a more formal organizational structure. This brought strategic and ideological differences to the fore, especially when organic advocates turned towards the state for support. “Spreaders” and “tillers” differed on whether it was better to rapidly expand the organic market with the support of state and corporate actors or if it was more important to safeguard strict standards even if that would limit organic growth. Organic movement strategy is examined through the lens of competing environmental sociology theories.

Keywords:   Organic standards, Organic certification, National Organic Program, Social movement strategy, Ecological modernization theory, Treadmill of production theory

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