Understanding resilient rural networks – for agri-food produce


Supporting agri-food system development and its resilience is crucial to growing the local food economy, providing opportunities for sustainable economic and environmental solutions, protecting healthier life and creating a sense of community. Conventional approaches to economic development tend to focus on individual firms and sales’ growth, whereas business interdependencies in the local food system are less investigated and poorly understood.

This research explores rural business interconnectivity and resilience in local agri-food networks in north Cotswolds. It employs a social network approach to understand how rural businesses interact with each other in terms of supplying and selling, developing and innovating in food and beverage products. We want to examine the extent of resource supply/development and interlinkage activities and their frequency and value, in respect of building resilience and capacity to succeed, in rural enterprises.