Producing the perfect pineapple: Competing standards and sustainable food

Serving Magically Perfect Fruit Globally: Local nesting in translating multiple standards

Nadine Arnold and Allison Loconto
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam / Université Gustave Eiffel

Globally, standards govern and organise the production and exchange of food. This article uses insights from science and technology studies to study the translation of multiple standards in the Ghanaian pineapple industry. The data demonstrate a translation process that is best described as nesting. Nesting is the process through which producers translate multiple standards into a locally contingent network of human and nonhuman actors, which is represented materially by the perfect fruit. For nesting to take place, producers develop intra-organisational collective practices that we call: prioritising standards, enrolling additives, and creating residues. The concept of nesting explains how food producers translate multiple standards, while simultaneously regaining agency. While nesting enables us to speak about what it means to implement the multiple standards that materially embody the consumers’ vision of perfection, it also contributes to the sociology of standards, the literature on standards adoption, and organisation studies.

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