The 2016 referendum resulted in a vote for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union. This has led to frenzied political debate across the whole spectrum of policy, and agriculture is no exception.
For the first time in a generation, the future of agriculture is unclear and unfettered by the constraints and incrementalism of the Common Agricultural Policy. This book makes an empirical contribution to the Brexit debate, bringing a social dimension to agri-Brexit and sustainable agriculture discourses. Understanding the social in the context of farmers is vital to developing a way forward on food security and agricultural sustainability. Farmers are the recipients of the market and policy signals that link to global uncertainties and challenges. This book is a commitment to understanding farmers as occupiers and managers of land. Chapters in this book explore farmers’ own aspirations and knowledge about patterns of land use and production, which underpin discussions around the environment and sustainability.
There is a deficit in understanding what kind of agricultural industry we now have, following years of restructuring and repositioning. This book is an attempt to address that deficit and will appeal to students and researchers exploring agriculture, food politics and rural sociology.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Sustainable Agriculture in a World of Food Security 3. Farming Trends and agricultural Restructuring 4. Farmers and the Market 5. Farmers and Sustainable Intensification 6. The Small Farm Question 7. Farmers and Social Change: Stress, Well-Being and Disconnections 8. Farmers and the Environment 9. Can Farmers Deliver? Prospects in an Era of Food ‘Challenge’
Matt Lobley is a rural social scientist drawing primarily on the disciplines of geography and rural sociology. His research focuses on understanding influences on and impacts of farm household behaviour. His main interests relate to the role of farm households in the management of the countryside and the environmental and social impacts of agricultural restructuring. One of his main areas of expertise is family life cycle and succession issues on family farms.
Michael Winter is a social scientist with disciplinary roots in sociology and political science and has an avid interest in interdisciplinary research and engagement with natural science, especially agricultural science and ecology. His current research interests are in food security, the sustainable intensification of agriculture, land tenure and occupancy, the historical sociology of farming, the history of agricultural policy, and agri-environmental issues.
Rebecca Wheeler is a social scientist with a broad background in rural geography, environmental sustainability and social anthropology. She has worked extensively with farmers and the wider rural community on a range of agricultural and environmental issues. Her specific research interests include farmer behaviour and well-being, interactions between agriculture, rural communities and the environment, and the cultural heritage of place and landscape.