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Devon, United Kingdom

Fish R.,Center for Rural Policy Research | Winter M.,Center for Rural Policy Research | Lobley M.,Center for Rural Policy Research
Policy Sciences | Year: 2014

Reconciling environmental objectives for land use with the need to produce more food is a prominent concern of scientific and policy discourses on sustainable agriculture. The idea of sustainable intensification has emerged as one prominent framing of this challenge. In this paper we elaborate this idea from an ecosystem services perspective to natural resource management, with particular reference to developments in the UK. The paper considers the general origins and attributes of the perspective and how the challenge of sustainable intensification would be conceptualized and approached through it. While efforts to link analysis of ecosystem services to policy development and delivery in the UK are revealed as consistent with prevailing, and often long standing, approaches to sustainable agriculture, the marketization of environmental assets is highlighted as a distinguishing feature of current policy applications. The character and limitations of this facet of the ecosystem services agenda are discussed. The need to animate ecological issues of sustainable intensification through frames of reference other than those of economic valuation is emphasized. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Fish R.,Center for Rural Policy Research | Lobley M.,Center for Rural Policy Research | Winter M.,Center for Rural Policy Research
Journal of Rural Studies | Year: 2013

Drawing on the findings of empirical research conducted in the South West of England, this paper explores how farmers make sense of re-emerging imperatives for 'food security' in UK policy and political discourse. The analysis presented is based on two types of empirical inquiry. First, an extensive survey of 1543 farmers, exploring the basic associations farmers make with the term 'food security'. Second, a novel methodological experiment in 'deliberative polling' undertaken with a group of 33 farmers in the area of Mid Devon, where farmers were polled on issues relating to food security discourse before and after a process of group discussion. Participants in the study are revealed as generally very alert to the emerging contours of the wider food security debate. Most aligned themselves with the normative goal of increasing the productive capacity of UK land resources, and asserted this concern in relation to wider issues of sustainable land use. However the study also reveals key discrepancies between policy appeals to food security and the values and priorities of farmers, not least through participant appeals to greater national self-determination in food supplies. This is viewed as a pretext upon which patterns of economically and socially viable local farming might be re-invigorated. © 2012 .

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