Using narratives to understand critical decision making by farmers and the implications for farm resilience.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


European agriculture continues to face a complex range of economic, environmental and social challenges, particularly so in the UK in the face of Brexit. Within this context of uncertainty, the stories or narratives of four Welsh sheep and beef farmers are analysed to develop an understanding of their critical decision making process and how this might impact on farm resilience. Narrative analysis enables researchers to gain an in depth understanding of the rationale surrounding farmer decision making when faced with change, uncertainty and risk and how farmers manage critical decision points in their farming businesses. This understanding is crucial not only for developing an understanding of the resilience attributes of family farming businesses but also for developing the tools and policy measures needed to support the UK agriculture sector going forward. The responses to risk and uncertainty identified in the study range from management changes in existing enterprises to maintain output (indicating robustness of the system), seeking out alternative sources of income to supplement the farm business (indicating adaptability) and changing the core of the farm business to something that is completely new (indicating transformability). Succession, either in its planning or after it has happened, is identified as a critical turning point affecting the future resilience of the farm businesses studied.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event7th AIEAA Conference: “Evidence-based policies to face new challenges for agri-food systems” - Conegliano, Italy
Duration: 14 Jun 201815 Jun 2018


Conference7th AIEAA Conference
Abbreviated title7th AIEAA Conference
Period14 Jun 201815 Jun 2018
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