Title: Artisanality and culture in innovative regional agri-food development: lessons from the Tasmanian artisanal food industry

Authors: Anna Gralton, Frank Vanclay

Addresses: Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 54, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia. ' Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 54, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia

Abstract: Artisanal food processing is socio-cultural practice. Artisanal products embody the processor|s values and beliefs and are an expression of place. By studying the Tasmanian artisanal food industry, this article explores how culture can be employed in innovative regional development and how the growth of small to medium enterprises is consistent with sustainability. Recommendations for developing a policy regime conducive to the flourishing of artisanal industries are provided. This article arose from research which investigated the difficulties of identity preservation as a result of enterprise expansion as well as the authenticity of claims in the artisanal food industry. The research methodology was primarily a multiple case study, preceded by a scoping study. Three small-scale agricultural cottage enterprises and three small-scale agricultural cottage enterprises that had expanded were purposively selected from the cheese, berry and wine sectors. During 2004, extensive in-depth interviews were conducted with the principals of each case study enterprise. The research established the artisanal food industry|s alignment with the endogenous regional development model. The significance of specific spatial and place characteristics and the pivotal role of values was established. The findings demonstrate the rationality of employing culture in regional development.

Keywords: artisanality; authenticity; cottage food industry; ERD; endogenous regional development; multifunctional agriculture; food place of origin; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; socio-cultural practice; Tasmania; Australia; innovation; food processing; culture; sustainability; sustainable development; artisanal food industry.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFIP.2009.022106

International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 2009 Vol.5 No.1/2/3, pp.193 - 204

Published online: 18 Dec 2008 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article