Considering the source: Commercialisation and trust in agri-environmental information and advisory services in England

Sutherland, Lee-Ann and Mills, Jane and Ingram, Julie and Burton, Rob J F and Dwyer, Janet C and Blackstock, Kirsty (2013) Considering the source: Commercialisation and trust in agri-environmental information and advisory services in England. Journal of Environmental Management, 118. pp. 96-105. ISSN 03014797

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Abstract

Recent decades have seen the emergence and increasing prominence of a range of public and private sector providers of agricultural information and advice, owing to state transition away from direct provision of agricultural advisory services. In this paper, we evaluate the establishment of trust in agri-environmental agricultural advisory services in England. Qualitative field research was undertaken with farmers, advisors and promoters engaged in four contrasting agri-environmental advisory initiatives. Findings suggest that longevity and expertise in service provision are more important than the public, private or charitable status of specific advisory service in engendering trust. Consistent funding allocated to well-known agencies or their affiliates is thus more likely influence farmer behaviour in the short term than 'contract' advisory projects awarded to novice service providers. Study participants also put their trust in services that were perceived as 'impartial' or actively 'pro-agriculture'. However, we suggest this 'pro-farmer' orientation can negatively impact on environmental outcomes: advisors may be incentivised to provide information on the easiest access to agri-environmental grants, rather than the actions with the most environmental benefit.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 Submission. Extension, Trust, Farming, Privatisation, Agricultural Knowledge Systems, Agri-environmental schemes, Agricultural, Landscapes, Management-Practices, Knowledge Networks, Species Richness, Political Trust, Decision-Making, Farmland, Birds, Schemes, Farmers
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Debi Jones-Davis
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2014 09:31
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2015 14:03
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/427

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