Dibden J, Cocklin C, 2009, "‘Multifunctionality’: trade protectionism or a new way forward?" Environment and Planning A 41(1) 163 – 182
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‘Multifunctionality’: trade protectionism or a new way forward?
Jacqui Dibden, Chris Cocklin
Received 25 May 2007; in revised form 12 July 2007; published online 4 November 2008
Abstract. The concept of ‘multifunctionality’ has developed partly in response to the threat which trade liberalisation presents to European agriculture. In this paper we outline different approaches to multifunctionality and consider whether, and to what extent, the concept may be applied more widely outside its home of origin in Western Europe, and specifically whether it is relevant to liberalised agricultural economies, such as Australia. The focus is on government agricultural and rural policies which contribute to the maintenance or enhancement of the multifunctional characteristics of agriculture and other land uses. We suggest that, despite differences in views of the importance of farming and rural areas, a convergence is appearing between Australia and European countries in the development of policies aimed at the promotion of multiple outcomes from agriculture.
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