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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science