Local foods and local markets: strategies to grow the local sector in the UK

Anthropolgy of Food

May 2005

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Summary :

Interest in an alternative food economy has been growing over the last decade. Parallel developments in academia and the activities of government and non-government organisations have led to a fusion of theory and practice under an umbrella of local food. The purpose of this article is to explore the networks and discourses that surround the production and consumption of local food in the UK. This is achieved through the analysis of a series of in-depth interviews with industry and grassroots organisations set against a background of consumer opinion deriving from focus groups. The analysis demonstrates that differences in the language and conceptualisation of local reveal different roles for local food in the economy and in the diet. The article concludes that policies to support public sector procurement through a hinterland of small-scale producer marketing and processing enterprises should be a priority in both urban and rural areas.

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