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A Matter of Scale


A study of the productivity, financial viability and multifunctional benefits of small farms (20 ha and less).

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A survey of 69 small, agroecological farms showed a diverse and vibrant sector, which attracts new entrants and incubates entrepreneurs. Many of the holdings were five hectares or less and, while some were focussed on horticulture, others were operating several different enterprises including eggs, meat and micro-dairy.

Until now, little research has been conducted into the productivity and viability of small-scale, agroecological farms in the UK. This study shows that they deserve closer attention by both policy makers and academics as they simultaneously address many of the challenges facing twenty-first century food production, including efficient UK provision of vegetables and fruit, fulfilling employment opportunities, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and food waste, and the re-building of rural communities.

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