Denmark at centre of agriculture study

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Denmark’s high percentage of holiday home owners and high quality of food production have landed the town a central role in new research.

UWA researchers are targeting both holiday home owners and local food producers to find out if holiday home tourism could support multi-functional agriculture.

To do this, Professor Fiona Haslam McKenzie and Associate Professor Adam Czarnecki are looking into whether holiday-home owners choose to buy local produce and therefore support sustainable development in regional communities.

Professor Haslam McKenzie said they wanted to know if holiday home owners created demand for local food.

“We are interested to understand patterns of local food consumption and how holiday home owners contribute, or not, to local economies and particularly local, sustainable food production,” she said.

“We are also interested to understand what products are key contributors to local food economies in different locations and through different distribution channels.”

Researchers have chosen the Shire of Denmark and Shire of Augusta-Margaret River as their case studies.

Professor Haslam McKenzie said both shires had a significant cohort of holiday-home owners and high quality food producers.

“Quality food is often part of the marketing and aesthetic value of a place so we were keen to understand whether second home/holiday owners value that and purchase accordingly,” she said.

“Second home owners are a difficult sector of the market to really understand because the census does not count them and unlike parts of Europe, they are a relatively small sector.

“Nonetheless, they often have expendable income and the sea/tree change research shows that holiday owners appreciate aesthetically attractive locations, which are often the same locations where quality food is produced.”

The study is due to be completed mid-year.

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