University of Oulu

Beacham, J. D., Jackson, P., Jaworski, C. C., Krzywoszynska, A., & Dicks, L. V. (2023). Contextualising farmer perspectives on regenerative agriculture: A post-productivist future? In Journal of Rural Studies (Vol. 102, p. 103100). Elsevier BV.

Contextualising farmer perspectives on regenerative agriculture : a post-productivist future?

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Author: Beacham, Jonathan D.1; Jackson, Peter2; Jaworski, Coline C.3;
Organizations: 1School of Management, University of Bristol, UK
2Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK
3Université Côte d’Azur, INRAE, CNRS, UMR ISA, 06000, Nice, France
4History, Culture and Communications, University of Oulu, Finland
5Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, UK
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-20


Within agri-food scholarship, longstanding debates have focused on the empirical applicability and conceptual utility of differing agricultural paradigms. These have often dovetailed with considerations around the future of agriculture in countries such as the UK given a shift in emphasis away from the central tenets of a high-input, yield-oriented productivism. Alternative diagnoses, particularly in notions of a post-productivist paradigm, have proven influential in capturing broad changes in the restructuring of agricultural activity. Whilst debates around the characterisation of these paradigms continue, they highlight distinct contestations in broader (and shifting) questions around what agriculture should be ‘for’, e.g. whether environmental ‘goods’ should be valued more highly than material production. Situating our paper within these ongoing debates, we draw on farmer perspectives in examining the adoption of regenerative agricultural practices in two farmer clusters in the East and South-West of England respectively. As a diverse array of practices which appear favourably positioned in a post-Brexit policy environment, we explore the ways in which regenerative agriculture can be understood as seeking to reconcile productivist and post-productivist tendencies. Drawing attention to the tensions, contradictions and uncertainties at play in these farmer perspectives, we highlight: the environmental and emotional appeal of regenerative agriculture compared to its adoption for more pragmatic (economic) reasons; the parallels and differences between regenerative agriculture and organic production; and the multiple sources of trusted information drawn upon by farmers in an uncertain policy environment. We conclude the paper by reflecting on the need to better contextualise and conceptualise contemporary interest in regenerative agriculture within longer theoretical lineages, in which the voice of farmers themselves must be central.

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Series: Journal of rural studies
ISSN: 0743-0167
ISSN-E: 1873-1392
ISSN-L: 0743-0167
Volume: 102
Article number: 103100
DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2023.103100
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 520 Other social sciences
519 Social and economic geography
Funding: We are grateful to the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund for their financial support (grant no. BB/V004719/1).
Dataset Reference: Data will be made available on request.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (