Product and Place: Promoting Quality Products and Services in the Lagging Rural Regions of the European Union
Quality products and services (niche markets) could be an important instrument of rural development in the lagging regions of the European Union. However, there is little research which relates product to place in a rural context. After providing a brief insight into aspects of agricultural and rural restructuring, the article reviews existing literature and relevant concepts under the separate headings of 'Constructing quality' and 'Constructing regional images: linking product to place'. Many of these ideas are being applied in an interdisciplinary and international (EU) research project which attempts to link specific quality products and services to specific regions. The aims of RIPPLE are outlined in the hope of encouraging more research into the links between quality products and rural places.