By Anne Lee and Geoffrey Wall
The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual model that outlines the formation of a food cluster as part of place-based creative economy development, which can transform places’ ‘comparative advantages’ into ‘competitive advantages’ by emphasizing the enhancement of a local food production and consumption nexus. The conceptual model is descriptive in that it summarizes and generalizes some of the findings of empirical work undertaken in southern Ontario (Stratford and Muskoka), and, at the same time, it is procedural and policy-relevant in that it highlights the resources that are required to establish a creative economy by forming food clusters. Emphasis is given to what needs to be done: i.e., the highly talented creative activity (innovation process) that should be taken to create a food cluster. The conceptual model informs the establishment of a creative food economy that will enhance the attractiveness of a place by strengthening or creating a place identity and image, and stimulate the development of a creative economy.
Keywords: creative rural economy; food clusters; place branding; comparative advantage; competitive advantage: