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Selling places: a community-based model for promoting local food. The case of Rhondda Cynon Taf

Robert Bowen (School of Management, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)
Sophie Bennett (Aberystwyth Business School, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK)

Journal of Place Management and Development

ISSN: 1753-8335

Article publication date: 12 December 2019

Issue publication date: 17 April 2020




This paper aims to evaluate how places approach the promotion of local food products and what it means to produce, consume and support local produce in a rural region.


The study uses a participatory action-reflective approach through a series of three focus groups held over consecutive weeks with nine participants. This included local food producers, artists and community members, with data collected through focus group discussions, reflective video diaries and a questionnaire. The research was conducted in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales, a region with entrepreneurial potential but lacking a reputation for food.


Findings demonstrate confused perceptions of local identity, leading to a clichéd image of the region. As such, an origin brand may do little to enhance the value of local produce or increase economic prosperity in places that lack an established identity. Places with a more recognised reputation for food, such as Wales, could benefit from an origin brand, similar to Brittany.


The study extends the academic understanding of place branding by investigating the value of using origin branding in promoting food products. The context of a lesser-known region highlights the importance of awareness and reputation for the successful implementation of the brand. Additionally, the unique community-led action-reflective methodology provides a holistic model in exploring the effective development of the brand.



This study was supported by the Creative Exchange Wales Network (CEWN) under a Creative Capacity grant.


Bowen, R. and Bennett, S. (2020), "Selling places: a community-based model for promoting local food. The case of Rhondda Cynon Taf", Journal of Place Management and Development, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 215-228.



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