A Geographic Framework for Assessing Neolocalism: The Case of Texas Hard Cider
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The purpose of this research was to develop and test a new conceptual framework for the geographic analysis of neolocalism through an examination of Texas craft cider producers. James Shortridge (1996) introduced the term neolocalism, defining it as the striving for a conscientious and sustained attachment to local places. I interviewed the owners or spokesperson for twelve Texas cideries to determine their engagement with neolocal traits. Incorporating geographic, relational, and values of proximity along with the identified neolocal traits, I created a visual representation of neolocal engagement, the neolocal product model. My findings suggest that the cideries interviewed make a conscientious effort at incorporating neolocal traits into their business to create products embedded in place. The model visually demonstrates how Texas craft cider producers’ ability to create a locally-embedded product imbued with neolocal traits are affected by how the producers situate themselves within a local food network, reflect local resources and values, and present their cidery within a chosen landscape. Additionally, the model documents a wide variety of traits and expressions of those traits producers can engage in making a product local.