Despite the emphasis given in EU agricultural policy to the local economic benefits of a maintaining a strong agricultural sector, relatively little research has focussed on the contribution farm households make to their localities. The lack of understanding is particularly acute given ongoing changes in the agri-food chain and changes in farm structures. The paper presents findings from an analysis of the direct transactions associated with a sample of farm households drawn from two European case study areas – Podlaskie, Poland and North East Scotland, UK. The results confirm that the concept of “local” in relation to farm household transactions depends on the economic geography of the area under analysis. With the exception of off-farm work, farm households within North East Scotland study have more distant and spatially-concentrated transactions due to the consolidation of upstream and downstream agri-businesses in the region. In contrast, transactions in Podlaskie take place far closer to the holding and are more spatially dispersed. Farm size does not systematically influence input purchasing and output sales patterns in either area but farmer attachment and supply-side factors are shown to be significant influences on behaviour.


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