Globally engaged farmers as transnational actorsNavigating the landscape of agri-food globalization

Authors Organisations
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-242
Number of pages11
JournalGeoforum
Volume44
Early online date07 Nov 2012
DOI
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
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Abstract

Farmers are not commonly included in studies of transnational actors, but with the globalization of agricultural markets, and the neoliberal reform of national agricultural sectors, an increasing number of family farm-entrepreneurs have become engaged in transnational activities. Drawing on interviews with
‘globally-engaged’ farmers in Australia – a country in which expansion into transnational activities has been encouraged by the radical deregulation of domestic markets – this paper explores the transnational mobilities of farmers who have sought to capitalize on the advantages of globalization by directly trading with international partners, establishing international business contacts, and learning international best practice in farm efficiency and environmental performance. In particular, the paper examines the varying spatialities and forms of mobility executed by farmers and observes how different patterns of mobility
are executed in response to the particular exigencies of their respective industries as well as the ongoing imperatives of maintaining a farm business. By analyzing the farmers’ own narratives of these different spatialities, the paper develops a more critical and reflexive perspective on globalization and its impact
on rural producers, with travel becoming both an opportunity to be enjoyed and a compulsion to be endured by those forced to operate in a climate where state-based support structures are absent.

Keywords

  • Transnational mobility, Farmers, Globalization, Business travel, Australia