Hopeful Governance for Good Rural Food Economies and Environments

Eifiona Thomas Lane, School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University
Lois Mansfield, Department of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies, University of Cumbria
Rebecca Jones, School of Natural Sciences, Bangor University

Much academic and activist time, energy and effort have been directed at changing local food economies and towards developing good food opportunities whether through community or business focussed interventions/projects. However recent research emphasis has been predominantly on the more urbanised food economy. Current alternative visions for many rural spaces have been challenged in terms of providing a clear route-map towards sustainable food futures that delivers local food access and livelihoods. This session will address questions of rural production and explores new supply chain possibilities. This will include research on good and hopeful governance in changing times as well as empirical studies of case studies of best practice from both upland and more productive agri-food /agri diversification and community developments e.g. Charters, Good Food projects, Food Councils and Food Hubs. Learning for building sustainable communities from across projects and networks and a range of scales and global contexts is a key aim of this action research focussed session. This two-part session especially welcomes practitioner and policy-based presentations and new researchers and aims to be as inclusive and interdisciplinary as possible.  


Call for papers on “Food & drink heritage, rural tradition or novelty? Challenges for responsible development.”

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Caerdydd- Cardiff 2018

Session sponsored by the Food Geographies Working Group and Rural Geography Research Group

Contributions from a diverse range of academic, practitioner developer, community organisations and new researchers are especially welcomed.

Rural space has been traditionally recognised as spaces of food production and rich repositories of food and drink, traditions, heritage and provenance. Upon this foundation, both well-known and newer forms of rural leisure and rural tourism offers have been developed. Experiences from gastronomy within food tourism to more technical ventures in micro-brewing, artisan and lifestyle markets exemplify this potential.

  • How can these new forms of rural food and drink developments and experiences contribute towards an equitable and wider rural resilience in contrasting geographical contexts?
  • Can such food and drink based development be mapped and trends understood? Should this be managed?
  • How will these developments offer responsible modes of innovation?
  • Is there academic potential in considering craft scale food or drink production and challenges to growth?
  • Can new food and drink innovation be made sustainable e.g. more localised supply chains or trading networks?
  • What consequences may be changing rural food and drink-scapes have on the accessibility of local foods for all?

This session will explore both traditional rural food and drink heritage, current issues and future possibilities for responsible rural development and building of rural resilience through the use of food and drink and will invite a diverse range of speakers to discuss cases studies and academic analysis. Interdisciplinary, holistic and empirical case study based presentations are invited from speakers exited by the questions above linked to food and drink geographies.

Abstracts of up to 250 words should be sent to Eifiona Thomas Lane (eifiona.thomaslane@bangor.ac.uk) and Rebecca Jones (rebecca.jones@bangor.ac.uk) by 12 February 2018. Please feel free to get in touch to discuss or if you require further information about the session focus or suitability for your paper. The plan is to have presentations of around 15 minutes with further Q&A allocated during the session.

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