Reading the space of the farmers' market: A preliminary investigation from the UK

L. Holloway, M. Kneafsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

222 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this paper is to begin to examine the emergence of Farmers' Markets (FM) in the UK. It is suggested that FM represent a new type of 'consumption space' within the contemporary British foodscape, one which may be read as a heterotopic convergence of localist, moral, ethical and environmental discourses, mediated by networks of producers, consumers and institutions. Based on a preliminary analysis of some of the discourses employed by these actors, it is argued that FM can be understood simultaneously as 'conservative' and 'alternative' spaces. 'Conservative' in that they encapsulate a reactionary valorization of the local, linking localness to the ideas of quality, health and rurality, and 'alternative' in that they represent a diversifying rural economy arising in response to the difficulties being experienced by some UK farmers and a more general perception of a countryside under threat. Initial evidence from a pilot case study in Stratford-upon-Avon is used to support these suggestions and propose directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-299
Number of pages15
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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