WIT Press

Food Tourism Initiatives: Resistance On The Ground


Free (open access)





Page Range

745 - 757




2,885 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


S. L Slocum & S. Everett


Food tourism has gained academic and, more recently, political recognition as a potentially sustainable form of tourism development. While state intervention in agriculture policy and the economic context for agricultural production has been long established, a new policy framework that integrates support for farming together with rural development and the environment as a means to create new jobs, protect and improve natural resources, and support rural communities has become evident in food tourism initiatives across the United Kingdom. These interventions are partly a response to the Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food (PCFFF) and have resulted in increased emphasis and programme development in food tourism as a means to support rural agricultural areas. It is argued that the economic motivations behind these policy developments are derived from two sources: utility goals that concern the contribution of the farming sector towards the overall health of the economy; and equity goals that focus on the provision of satisfactory incomes for rural populations. In preparation for a new national food tourism website, a series of stakeholder interviews were conducted to gauge industry challenges in implementing food tourism across the UK. Within an established top-down approach to agricultural development, local and regional food organisations have developed food tourism initiatives with the mindset that producers need information and persuasion in order to engage with emerging tourism supply chains. Common challenges to this tactic include the geographical dispersion of producers; confusing and conflicting information available on best practices; and identifying the varying needs between small and large farm operations. However, additional struggles have been identified relating to the differing social identities of the meaning


food tourism, community development, farming policy, tourism supply chain