Internship and Research Project, Ms. Anne Veltes

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Between September and December 2019, I am doing an internship at the Sino-German Agricultural Centre (DCZ) as part of my master’s degree. I am currently enrolled at Aarhus University’s Human Security program. Human Security is a concept developed by the United Nations Development Program in 1994. It is based on seven interconnected pillars: economic security, political security, personal security, community security, food security, environmental security and health security.

Part of my studies is a fieldwork and research experience in the third semester. Data collected during this fieldwork will contribute to writing my master’s thesis in the fourth semester. I have chosen to do research within the food security pillar of human security in the Chinese context. As food security in terms of access to food is not the most pressing issue, I chose to focus on food safety. In the past years there have been some food safety incidents in China, among them the more prominent is the milk powder scandal. Parallel to these food safety incidents alternative food networks have started to develop as an alternative way to buy food. My research project aims at examining the establishment of trust in these alternative food networks. To narrow down the area of research I will only be focusing on farmers’ markets in Beijing. I will try to find out

  • to what extent consumers are experiencing and addressing food safety issues on these farmers’ markets,
  • whether they perceive food safety as a reason to purchase food at these markets
  • how they decide which farmers to buy from and
  • how they decide which specific item of food is safe.

Furthermore, I want to look at how vendors contribute to the formation of trust.

During this time of fieldwork, I will be interning for the DCZ, partly doing my own research and partly contributing to the work of DCZ. I am very much looking forward to this experience and want to thank the whole team for welcoming me.

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