Sustainability in Scotland’s remote rural ‘margins’: an overview

Kathryn Burnett, Mike Danson

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This section reports on a study from the Scottish Centre for Island Studies which considered how small food businesses in remote Scotland understand sustainability. This report comprised both secondary research reviewing academic and policy literature on rural enterprises and also qualitative in-depth interviews with case studies with people who craft process seaweed and other local produce into food and drink, which are key sectors for the economies of Scotland’s remote communities.
This paper draws insights from areas that are not just ‘rural’ but also ‘remote’ and demonstrates the strength of ‘co-production’ ideas of sustainability informed by ‘localness’ in a global context. This co-production is essential to remote enterprises seeking to generate viable product and market share, while harnessing the material resource that a place of margin and remoteness affords, such as a clean, good and rich ‘natural environment’.


  • Scotland
  • Food
  • rural enterprise
  • islands
  • heritage
  • cultural policy


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