Making the connections between medium and small-scale dairy farmers and inshore fishers: a resilience perspective

Kirwan, James ORCID: 0000-0002-4626-9940, Maye, Damian ORCID: 0000-0002-4459-6630, Vigani, Mauro ORCID: 0000-0003-2442-7976 and Bundhoo, Dilshaad ORCID: 0000-0003-0262-9868 (2016) Making the connections between medium and small-scale dairy farmers and inshore fishers: a resilience perspective. In: Rural Geography Research Group and Food Geographies Research Group: Connecting food system sustainability and resilience through a geographical lens, 31 August - 2 September 2016, London. (Unpublished)

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At first sight it might appear incongruous to try and make connections between dairy farmers and inshore fishers, but in reality they face many of the same issues. These include an ageing working population, a lack of inter-generational succession, regulatory pressures (via either the CAP or the CFP), access to finance, environmental restrictions, and an underlying struggle to remain financially viable in the face of price volatility and uncertain access to markets. As such, both groups of producers are inherently exposed to high levels of risk, as well as having a potentially limited ability to manage and mitigate that risk. This paper adopts a resilience perspective to examine the underlying conditions confronting these two groups of primary food producers, as well as the range of strategies they employ as they seek to overcome their vulnerability. In doing so, it is important to consider the scale at which this is done and to focus on the specifics of place rather than generalities. This paper, in drawing on case study work conducted in the South-West of England (inshore fisheries) and Cheshire / Staffordshire (medium and small-scale dairy farmers) as part of the EU-funded H2020 project, SUFISA (Sustainable finance for sustainable agriculture and fisheries), compares conditions and mitigation strategies adopted by both sets of actors. The analysis reveals some sector differences but also a common pool of resilience strategies, including: pluriactivity, diversification and intensification; but also, on occasions, maladaptation and exit from the industry. A key finding is that in both cases the producers' high level of dependency on natural resources, as well as relative insignificance as economic actors, exposes them to high levels of risk and uncertainty and potentially low levels of resilience

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
S Agriculture > SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Bee Ray-Smallcalder
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2023 10:26
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2023 10:26

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