Rural History 2015

Panel 24

Organizers: Wouter, Ronsijn (2); Laurent, Herment (1)

Affiliation: 1: CNRS, France; 2: Universiteit Gent

Title: Storage of Staple Food and Commercial Networks from the late Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century

"Several studies devoted to storage emphasize not the technological but primarily the social and economic issues. Beyond the technical aspect of storage and its evolution, numerous questions arise related to the social and economic aspects. Who controlled the storage: the producers (farmers), consumers (households), commercial intermediaries (tradesmen or processors such as bakers, millers, brewers), or the elite (nobility, church, hospitals, or local or central state institutions)? For what purpose were staple foods stored: needs of people, commercial/speculative purpose, in expectation of crisis, etc.?
When, during periods of population growth and urbanization, output grew, this also affected the trade and storage of food. Conversely, during periods of economic depression, the cost of storage becomes a burden, stimulating either technical innovations or a struggle to transfer this burden onto other actors. Finally, the globalization of the grain trade required specific storage solutions in both exporting and importing regions. This session will examine the interaction between the technical and the social and economic issues of storage, commercialization and processing of agricultural commodities. More generally, we want to assess how the constraint of storage was solved in different technical, economic and social contexts, and how the commercial networks of staple foods, were adapted to new patterns of demand."


Papers (part I)

Chair: Laurent Herment, CNRS, France

Discussant: Wouter Ronsijn, Ghent University, Belgium

Paper 1: Evidence for grain storage in Kent during dearth years in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries [+]

Stephen Hipkin, Canterbury Christ Church University, UK

Paper 2: Grain storage in the western part of Switzerland from the 15th to the 18th century [+]

Chantal Camenisch, University of Bern, Switzerland

Paper 3: Storing grains in the “greniers d’abondance”: the best way to fight dearths in 18th-century France?

Gérard Béaur, CNRS, France & EHESS, France; Patrick Cerisier, U. Lille, France

Paper 4: Feeding the City. Commercial Networks, Urban Supply and Storage of Staple Food in Valencia from the late Middle Ages to Early Modern Times

Antoni Furio, University of Valencia, Spain


Papers (part II)

Chair: Wouter Ronsijn, Ghent University, Belgium

Discussant: Laurent Herment, CNRS, France

Paper 5: Landlords as rational investors? Grain storage on manorial estates (Rhineland and Westphalia, 18th and 19th centuries) [+]

Ulrich Pfister and Friederike Scholten, Westfälische Wilhelms Universität, DE

Paper 6: Magnitude and motivation of food storage in Saxony, c. 1790–1830

Ulrich Pfister, Martin Uebele, Tim Grünebaum and Michael Kopsidis, Westfälische Wilhelms Universität, DE

Paper 7: Storage and Commercial Networks in southern Sweden during the Agricultural Revolution [+]

Mats Olsson and Patrick Svensson, Lund University, Sweden

Paper 8: The Paris Reserve at the beginning of the Nineteenth Century: benefits and limits [+]

Christiane Cheneaux, Ecole doctorale II, UMR 8596, Université Paris IV Sorbonne, FR


Suggested deadline for sending completed papers 31 july 2015

© 2014 Rural History 2015