ABSTRACT

There is gathering public concern over the impact on the natural and global environment of expanding production and consumption activities. This chapter reviewes conceptual and analytical themes relating to technological change, farm management and pollution regulation. These are the central components in the ‘pollution production process’, a full understanding of which is a necessary condition for the establishment of a coherent policy and institutional framework to deal with agricultural pollution. In the past, agricultural pollution has attracted much less attention in Britain than the more readily observable impact of agricultural development on wildlife habitats and rural landscapes. The standard analysis of industrial innovation is not appropriate when explaining technological development in the agro-food system - a system which does not constitute merely another branch of manufacturing and thus is not reducible to industry. Analyses of technological innovation need to take account of these changing institutional relationships in the research base of the agro-food system.