The article aims at understanding the set of meanings, norms, values and ties affecting the everyday work of different types of brokers employed within a fruit and vegetable market. The case study is represented by a market located in Vittoria, the centre of the so-called Transformed Littoral Strip, in South-Eastern Sicily. The local agricultural district hosts several workplaces devoted to the production and distribution of crops: seeds companies, nurseries, greenhouses, packinghouses, and fruit and veg markets. The latter represents the field of our ethnographic investigation that relied, in particular, on the technique of shadowing, and on around 50 in-depth interviews. The article deals with the everyday life of several actors (producers, agents and dealers) and investigates their negotiations, their worries, their ties. In particular, the contribution scrutinizes which behaviours are deemed legitimate and which are stigmatized within the social space of the market, in order to draw a picture of the moral economy and of the conventions circulating in this setting. Through a number of ethnographic examples, the article describes how the economic-regulative sphere is actually connected and mutually constitutive with the moral-evaluative one.
Keywords: Moral Economy, Economics of Conventions, Transformed littoral strip; shadowing.