Nordic ruralities - Reconfiguring the local – University of Copenhagen

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08 September 2014

Nordic ruralities - Reconfiguring the local

At the 3rd Nordic Conference for Rural Research Jeppe Høst hosted a panel on small and large-scale food production. The panel had contributions from a range of nordic countries and focused on the relationship between small and large-scale producers.

Food production has historically been a central activity in many rural economies, but has been decreasing in importance due to changes in production and global competition. Large-scale production and global distribution networks have contributed to a neutralization of place and harmonization of local variations in production, look and taste. However recently, local niche and high quality food production seems to have been experiencing a revival. In that process, the ‘local’ and the notion of ‘place’ have become new value markers pointing at both cultural meanings and new consumer habits, while new distribution systems, have been set up to link consumers and small scale producers – often emphasizing the direct and personal linkages. In contrast to the large-scale sector, local food production is often embedded in tourism and leisure life in both urban as in rural areas, and perhaps reflects changes in the long term social composition of the rural population.