Antoinette DUMONT

Postdoctoral researcher (Berkeley)


I am an agronomist specialized in rural economics and sociology, with a PhD from University of Louvain (UCL) in Belgium. My work is rooted in an interdisciplinary approach between these three disciplines. My research focuses on socioeconomic dimensions of alternative food movements. More specifically, I have specialized in the agroecological movement and the working conditions of producers and their farmworkers. During my master’s thesis at UCL, I examined how to define the socioeconomic ideal of agroecology and how to evaluate it in actors’ practices. This socioeconomic ideal concerns issues like social equity, territorial anchoring of food systems or producers’ autonomy. During my PhD, I went a step further in social equity challenges by examining to what extent agroecological systems can offer good working conditions for vegetable producers and their farmworkers in the current socio-economic and political context of Belgium. To study this topic, I compared the working situations between agroecological, organic and conventional systems, using the food system framework. My results were discussed in a transition perspective towards sustainable food systems. To date, sociological comprehensive interviews and technico-economic appraisals have been my main tools to pursue my interdisciplinary approach.

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at University of California, Berkeley, in Prof. Miguel Altieri’s lab. I want to provide thorough scientific studies that could help make agriculture more environmentally friendly and fair for workers. From this perspective, I am conducting a comparative study of working situations in agroecological systems between countries of diverse continents. In addition to my membership to GIRAF, I am an associate fellow of CIRTES (Interdisciplinary Research Center on Work, State and Society in Belgium) and LPTransition (Louvain Partnership research on ecological and social Transition).

Posted in Members, Second circle