Innovation in rural development: “neo-rural” farmers branding local quality of food and territory.

Brigida Orria, Vincenzo Luise


This paper presents the case of “neo-rurality” in inner areas in the Campania region (southern Italy). Inner areas are the scenery of innovative development processes, founded on structural and territorial resources, as well as on individuals and social capitals. Neo-rural exponents promote a new relationship between production and consumption. They are not only anti-consumerist: they articulate in a different way sustainability, visions of market relations, values and practices. Neo-rurality as a narrative-based brand collects various ideals, values and marketing behaviours, representing different economic actors in a common narrative. Based on fieldwork and interviews, undertaken in Campania during 2015, our study points out that, through the collective narrative, farmers are constructing a “neo-rurality” brand of local quality food and promotion of territory. We highlight how neo-rural farmers propose a novel combination of economic practices and value production in Alternative Agri-food Movements. Producers promote a combined approach to local development towards increasing food quality and cultural and environmental resources of territory. Furthermore, this is in line with recent studies on how agriculture and rural life have changed their role in post-modern society, and there we see also a trajectory for the future of inner areas.


Rural social innovation; Neo-rurals; Brand; Alternative agriculture; Agri-food networks

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Copyright (c) 2017 Brigida Orria, Vincenzo Luise

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ISSN: 2239-267X

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