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Abstract

This paper examines the concept of sustainable agriculture, drawing upon recent geographical literature to illuminate key debates. It recognises that there are various constraints upon the creation of a widely accepted practical definition of sustainable agriculture and that there are different viewpoints regarding the future realisation of sustainability. Here some of the principal ramifications of ecocentric aspects of sustainable agriculture in the Developed World are discussed. These include the advance of formally accredited organic farming and differences between ‘committed’ and ‘pragmatic’ organic farmers. Examples are given of the relationships between conventional agri-food chains, organic farming and a ‘reconnection’ between farmers and consumers. Recent research is summarised with respect to work on ‘relocalisation’, production of ‘quality’ foods, ‘embeddedness’ and the emergence of new forms of sustainable consumption.