Clustering and the spatial distribution of organic farming in England and Wales
Maye, D. and Ilbery, B. (2010) Clustering and the spatial distribution of organic farming in England and Wales. Area, 43 (1). pp. 31-41. ISSN 0004-0894
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2010.00953.x
Previous geographical research on organic farming suggests a process of aggregation at the regional scale and spatial clustering at the local level, the latter in response to a neighbourhood effect and different socio-cultural factors. However, little research has been conducted on the geographical distribution of organic farming in a UK context. Using both secondary and primary data, this paper examines geographical aspects of organic farming in England and Wales. At a regional scale, three major concentrations of organic production are found to the south and west of a line drawn between Bangor in north Wales and Brighton in south-east England (the Brighton–Bangor line). One of these concentrations occurs in the counties of East and West Sussex in south-east England. Yet, within these two counties the pattern of organic farming is quite random and there is little evidence of spatial clustering, a neighbourhood effect or the influence of socio-cultural factors. Instead, many of the farms have converted from conventional farming since 1990 and are driven by a strong economic imperative, which encourages the use of national as well as local outlets to both sell their produce and purchase necessary inputs.
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