Blockchain and the Resurrection of Consumer Sovereignty in a Sustainable Food Economy




First paragraphs:

Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all pro­duction; and the interest of the producer ought to be attended to, only so far as it may be necessary for pro­moting that of the consumer. The maxim is so perfectly self-evident, that it would be absurd to attempt to prove it.

—Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of Nations (1776)


In today’s global food system, where the concen­tration of both economic and political power is self-evident, the maxim of consumer sovereignty is in great need of proof. In Montana, where we live, we have the great fortune to buy grass-finished cer­tified organic beef from a rancher almost literally in our own backyard. We know the supplier of our food not only as a producer, but as a friend. This rancher can easily garner from us, and his other costumers, our preferences. In a sense, we drive the rancher’s production methods and pricing. Even though we insist on organic certification, it is largely on the basis of trust and friendship that we return to purchase from him over and over for our family’s beef supply. . . .

See the press release for this article. 


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Author Biographies

Jeff Schahczenski, National Center for Appropriate Technology

Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist

Celia Schahczenski, Montana Technological University

Professor of Computer Science



How to Cite

Schahczenski, J., & Schahczenski, C. (2020). Blockchain and the Resurrection of Consumer Sovereignty in a Sustainable Food Economy. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(3), 79–84.