194Branding local products and the landscape

Linking local products and the landscape can create markets for products, benefit the rural economy and encourage local confidence and pride. It can also stimulate a better awareness of the countryside. This briefing summarises the ‘Protected Areas Branding Forum 2004’ held in Derbyshire in October 2004 by the Countryside Agency. The main purpose of the forum was to discuss experience of some ongoing schemes.

Year of Publication2005

The main conclusions were that: o Though there is a demand for local food consumers are only be prepared to pay limited premiums; o The effects of land management on the landscape need to be marketed strongly to consumers. Do they really see themselves as responsible for the environment? If so, why isn’t the environment a higher priority when purchasing products? o Building local brands for food and other products is a long term business and needs long term investment of time and money; o Brands need to deliver economic benefits to producers and environmental benefits – a tricky balance; o There are dangers of increasing the bureaucratic burden on farmers; o Quality and consistency of supply of produce can be problems; o There needs to be more sharing of experience and of costs and benefits between different projects and o The development of a generic brand for protected areas which would allow local variations should be considered.

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