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Terroir in Transition: Environmental Change in the Wisconsin Artisanal Cheese and New England Oyster Sectors

1
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
2
Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Campus Box 8107, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8107, USA
3
Department of Public Health, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC 27506, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2969; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102969
Received: 21 April 2019 / Revised: 10 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 24 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Even as the concept of terroir becomes more salient in diverse cultural and national contexts, climate-driven environmental change threatens to alter the ecologies that contribute to the distinctive terroir of place-based products. Yet few studies examine how producers of terroir products perceive and experience environmental change. Our comparative case study addresses this gap, as we examine ways that changing ecological conditions will influence the emergent terroir of Wisconsin artisanal cheese and New England oysters. Drawing on in-depth interviews and a survey, we describe the environmental and sociocultural elements that Wisconsin artisanal cheesemakers and New England oyster farmers identify as characteristic of the terroir and merroir (terroir’s maritime adaptation) of their products. We then compare cheesemakers’ and oyster farmers’ perceptions and experiences of climate change. We find that both groups perceive climate-related threats to the terroir and merroir of their products, though each group experienced these threats differently. We argue that the ongoing constitution of terroir—which has always reflected a tension between nature and culture—will be further complicated by changing ecologies. We suggest that a generative understanding of terroir that emphasizes terroir’s sociocultural dimensions may help artisanal cheesemakers and oyster farmers mitigate some climate-related threats to their products. View Full-Text
Keywords: terroir; merroir; place-based products; climate change; artisanal; cheese; oysters terroir; merroir; place-based products; climate change; artisanal; cheese; oysters
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MDPI and ACS Style

Teigen De Master, K.; LaChance, J.; Bowen, S.; MacNell, L. Terroir in Transition: Environmental Change in the Wisconsin Artisanal Cheese and New England Oyster Sectors. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2969. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102969

AMA Style

Teigen De Master K, LaChance J, Bowen S, MacNell L. Terroir in Transition: Environmental Change in the Wisconsin Artisanal Cheese and New England Oyster Sectors. Sustainability. 2019; 11(10):2969. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102969

Chicago/Turabian Style

Teigen De Master, Kathryn, James LaChance, Sarah Bowen, and Lillian MacNell. 2019. "Terroir in Transition: Environmental Change in the Wisconsin Artisanal Cheese and New England Oyster Sectors" Sustainability 11, no. 10: 2969. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102969

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