Local food and the localisation of food are beset by many problems in the UK. We have still yet to agree on a consensus view of the term ‘local food’ despite the call for an enforceable definition. The continued absence of rules around products and their relative spatial determinacy has lead to the development of both fluid, and subjective interpretations around the term ‘local’, as well as a willingness by key actors to readily conflate ‘local’ with ‘regional’ as a pluralistic device in a market worth £4.6 billion in sales from farm shops and farmers’ markets alone. This research sets out to identify and diffuse the problems we have in defining what local food is, and presciently, what it may become. The research itself utilises a qualitative multiple case study approach, engaging with a final cohort of 23 producers of similar products, but at different scales of supply, and across a broad geographic spread of England. In encompassing areas which do not have a reputation for local food, the research mitigates against previous micro-analytical research and adds both construct and internal validity to its data, gathered by semi structured interviews, process mapping and questionnaires. Template analysis is used as a data extraction tool in this research, which seeks to provide disambiguation around the sector and suggest a way forward which has the potential to offer greater derived benefit to current and future stakeholders.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 30 Jun 2011|