Funded PhD Opportunity Defining local food production: Investigating the role of artisan producers

This opportunity is now closed.

Subject: Business and Management Studies


The use of food marketing terms on food can assist consumers in the food choices they make by providing a point of differentiation and/or value to a product. Certain terms are used by manufacturers, producers and retailers to market their products, but it is important that these terms do not mislead consumers. It is important that consumers are confident that the foods they buy are accurately and truthfully as described and labelled (FSAI, 2018). Also, food businesses should be confident that the descriptions of their food are not being undermined by the incorrect use of marketing terms by other busineses (FSAI, 2018). Clearly defining food marketing terms can aid in their compliance with governing bodies.

The United Kingdom is in the midst of an artisan food revolution with a huge rise in interest around artisan food products from local communities, food innovators and entrepreneurs. In practical terms, Government-backed Food Enterprise Zones are expected to create new jobs, support tourism and inject investment into rural communities across the United Kingdom by encouraging new entrants into the food industry and creating artisanal food hubs (DEFRA, 2015). Unfortunately, no official definition or standard for artisan foods exists in Northern Ireland. Consequently, the term has come to be used as a marketing label. Similarly, no formal legal definition of the following key marketing terms used to promote a product exists: “traditional, farmhouse, handmade, and hand-crafted”.

This study will seek to understand the consumer, producer and stakeholder perceptions on defining these marketing terms as a mechanism for promoting local food produce in a way that is both authentic and meaningful for the producer and the consumer.

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)
  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • A comprehensive and articulate personal statement

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

  • Sound understanding of subject area as evidenced by a comprehensive research proposal
  • Work experience relevant to the proposed project



    The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,009 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fees component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided).  For Non EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK.

Other information

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 23 July 2018
Interview Date
7 August 2018

Contact Supervisor

Dr Lynsey Hollywood

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #290337 when applying for this PhD opportunity