Agricultural Diversities and Varied Opportunities for Food Tourism

  July 31, 2021   Read time 2 min
Agricultural Diversities and Varied Opportunities for Food Tourism
As part of overcoming the town-country divide featuring in so many countries may be the need for the rural provider to not – as some appear to do – hold their urban cousin in arrogant contempt, either for being tourist or for showing ignorance of rural ways.

Farm stays and visits are one way to offer education as part of enjoyment, as equally are fairs and special events provided that they serve information alongside food and drink. After all, part of why the consumer is present is because of concern about industrialized food and drink and as a consequent strong want to discover or be reassured about artisan, local or specialist food and drink. Farmers may have resentment towards tourism because of needing to diversify from what they consider should be their only role of farming itself.

Such an impulse is implied in the remark of a UK north-west upland sheep farmer O’Hagan interviewed, who – upset at being unable to make a living from farming, and of needing to maintain the landscape to an conventional aspect society expects – comments, ‘“The people down the road selling postcards of the Lake District are making much more than farmers who keep the land so photogenic”’. Along with a generalized resentment that tourism is rendering more income that farming, is suggested both an unwillingness to join its ranks and a low-level of expectation of the tourist. Accepting, and encouraging more, tourist interest in food and drink and its ways of production is the necessity of the provider, and also not to see the tourist in stereotypical or out-dated way.

A positive, evaluative, and contemporary in outlook, observation is this of François Dufour, Secretary General of the French Farmers’ Confederation, during interview, along with José Bové, by Gilles Luneau, ‘The business of providing farm holidays and study trips has evolved because it meets an increasing demand from town-dwellers and non-farming country-folk. I think it’s all part of the consumer’s desire to acquire a better knowledge of the quality of their food. The consumer is trying to re-establish contact with nature, and with the men and women who work on the land’.

The necessity for the farmer and producer is accepting and welcoming tourists if they need to earn revenue from them. In Europe, for example, the Common Agricultural Policy [CAP] has brought surplus among its outcomes. So, some mechanism needs to be found if society wants the countryside to ‘look farmed’, and also to be handled in an environmentally-friendly manner, and if the farmer wants to remain on the land and to obtain a survival income. Providing speciality food, and making it available in the domain of tourism and in a creative and interesting way, represents a possible avenue of rescue.

Part of an acceptance of tourism is to absorb levels of type of interest in the visitor. There is undoubtedly a sector that is seeing the countryside and its food and drink products ‘superficially’, and to demand it for its picturesqueness as on a postcard. Appreciation of sheer beauty is not, however, at all a skin-deep impulse. Aesthetic quality does much in feeding the soul and spirit, and the countryside aesthetic is now so novel to so many people that its pull must be ever more strong now.

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