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Title: Understanding regional agri-food systems and their supply chains : a socio-technological systems approach
Author: Adams, Marc Robert
ISNI:       0000 0004 5352 6559
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis investigates the development of regional agri-food systems and their supply chains to understand how they affect the sustainability of rural regions. It argues that the existing dichotomies of alternative-local and conventional-global do not provide a sufficiently nuanced understanding of the dynamic transitions and interactions that occur in regional agri-food systems. Deploying and extending socio-technological systems theory, the thesis explores the interaction between nested levels of sectoral and general agri-food regimes and reconstructs the emerging logics of interaction. Against this background, it analyses how alternative agri-food supply chain innovations evolve and assesses their various degrees of success. The meat, dairy and horticultural sectors in SW Wales are investigated as case studies, using a mixed methodological approach combining secondary data analysis and interviews with key stakeholders and supply chain actors. The research finds three sub-sectoral systems with highly differentiated socio-technological configurations and equally diversely configured niches. Using the socio- technological systems framework the: socio-technological configuration, degree of system stability and the future transitional pathways of the each sub-sectoral system is examined. This framework also creates the basis for an assessment of how likely their innovations are to be adopted or absorbed by the conventional agri-food system in SW Wales. The thesis finds that meaningful interactions occur not only within each sub-sector and betweentheir niches but also between sub-sectoral systems. The thesis ultimately provides a nuanced analysis of SW Wales’ agri-food systems that shows the complexity of regional food systems and critiques possible sustainable responses from public policy. It demonstrates that a socio-technical regime perspective can uncover the manifold relations between local and regional agri-food innovations and the dominant, multi-layered agri-food system. This constitutes a major empirical and conceptual contribution to the debates on sustainable food and rural development.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology ; HT Communities. Classes. Races ; S Agriculture (General) ; T Technology (General)