Ian Bowler


From productivity to sustainability: resolving the contemporary crisis in United Kingdom farming and food?

Ian Bowler

Geographia Polonica (2003) vol. 76, iss. 1, pp. 39-54 | Full text

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This paper interprets a contemporary crisis in the farming and food sector of the United Kingdom and evaluates the response in national state intervention in reorienting the sector from 'productivity' towards 'sustainability'. Policy documents from an advisory Policy Commission on The Future of Farming and Food and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in England are examined. The analysis reveals three dimensions in an emerging discourse on the sustainable development of farming and food, namely competition, environment and rural development, together with a continuing tension between the three dimensions in policy making, and constraints placed on national state intervention by the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union.

Keywords: farming and food, sustainability, competition, environment, rural development, United Kingdom

Ian Bowler, Department of Geography, University of Leicester, Leicester LEI 7RH, United Kingdom