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Lifestyle, growth, or community involvement? The balance of goals of UK artisan food producers

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Angela Tregear


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This paper examines the goals of contemporary artisans. Two strands of literature offer different conceptualizations of artisans, the first inferring proclivity towards co-operation and community involvement, the second assuming prioritization of lifestyle goals over growth. Each conceptualization presents alternative implications for regional development. To assess the contrasting theories of the character and socio-economic role of artisans, a qualitative study was undertaken, involving in-depth interviews with 20 artisan food producers in the north of England, exploring their goals and activities. Results give strong evidence of both lifestyle goals and commercial ambitions and skills in the sample. Analysis further suggests that when operating in buoyant niche markets, artisan producers offer the potential for valorization of local resources, skilled employment, and development of localized supply chains. However, under adverse market conditions it is hypothesized that artisans may follow one of two pathways, both of which lead to a loss of socio-economic benefits. Further in-depth research is recommended at the individual firm owner level, to gain more insight into the balance of artisan goals and perceptions. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tregear A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Entrepreneurship and Regional Development

Year: 2005

Volume: 17

Issue: 1

Pages: 1-15

ISSN (print): 0898-5626

ISSN (electronic): 1464-5114

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/08985620420002497777


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