Latte e lotte: On the difficulty of dairy farmers, vending machines, microbes and cows of becoming a movement
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Between 2004 and 2009, Italian dairy farmers have contributed to establish a network able to rearticulate milk’s and other dairy products’ everyday sale-purchase and consumption practices. Such rearticulation has been also possible because the emerged network allowed to completely bypass the dairy processing industry by directly selling blast-chilled just milked milk through vending machines. The proponents of the raw milk project have set the foundations for the constitution of a network that would go beyond the exchange of goods, seeding a possible movement able to reconfigure the actual system of social relations within the dairy context. Such reconfiguration of the dairy sector has not occurred and the network has gone through a process of disarticulation, as soon as a series of attacks by media and institutions put it under pressure. The narrations of the dairy farmers show that, despite their attempted struggles and despite the unexpected forms of solidarity the experienced, they felt isolated and left alone. What has then happened so that some of the conditions favourable to the emergence of a collective actor able to mobilize itself did not fully developed or have even been jeopardized?